“BUTTERFLIES IN BERLIN- Diary of a Soul Split in two”, written, directed and designed by Monica Manganelli.
Genre: historical dramatic docu-animated film (30′ minutes).
Status: completed (2019). Italy-Germany coproduction: A LATTEPLUS BERLIN FILM PRODUCTION + ALEXANDRA CINEMATOGRAFICA SRL, in collaboration with RAI CINEMA, with the support of BKM/German Federal Ministry of Culture and Media, EMILIA ROMAGNA Film Commission and MIBACT-Italian Ministry of Culture and Cinema.
Techniques: mix of 2D animation, motion graphics 3D, cut out computer animation, old photos, collage/pastiche, mattepaint-concept art. Each shot is conceived as a painting, as an hommage and citation of some artists/painters.
Synopsis: Alex moves to Berlin in 1933, during the Weimar Republic period. Looking for his place in the world and his sexual identity, he becomes the first out-of-surgery transsexual in History. That happens unfortunately during the National-Socialism rise, a social disruption that turned the capital of sexual freedom in the most repressed country of all times.
“Breathtaking art deco-style animation and a stunning musical score, make this evocative film unforgettable.” MJFF
“Loosely based on true events, Monica Manganelli weaves a tale of transformation through illustrative and engaging animation. Alex’s transformation is carefully juxtaposed with the transformations affecting Germany at this time, a butterfly waking up in the middle of a forest fire. ★★★★★” GAY-ESSENTIAL
“Butterflies in Berlin , un’Anima divisa in due , applauso lunghissimo in sala e in giro per il mondo. Coltissima e sensibile partitura visivo-musicale che scava nel buio rimosso dell’Omocausto e del paragrafo 175…”– IL MANIFESTO
“Un lavoro tanto bello esteticamente, quanto necessario per il suo approccio schietto, veritiero ed empatico ai tragici fatti accennati poc’anzi. Il pubblico del Nuovo Cinema Aquila è rimasto rapito dallo struggente lirismo di Butterflies in Berlin…” TAXIDRIVERS
Film Festivals Official Selection-Screenings and Awards:
–NEW YORK Jewish Film Festival / Film Society-Lincoln Center, 2020
–DENVER Jewish Film Festival, 2020
-ATLANTA Jewish Film festival, 2020
-KONTRAST Film Fest, Bayreuther Film Festival, 2020
-MAWJOUDIN Queer Film Festival,Tunis, 2020
-SAN DIEGO FILM WEEK, 2020
-RISING OF LUSITANIA-ANIMADOC FILM FESTIVAL, Gdansk-Poland, 2020
-BRUXELLES Jewish Film Festival, 2020
-OGEECHEE History Film festival, Georgia Southern University, Usa, 2020 WINNER: Honorable Mention
-MAINE Jewish Film festival, Portland, 2020
-BOCA RATON Jewish Film festival, Florida, 2020
-WASHINGTON Jewish Film festival, 2020
-TRICKY WOMEN/Tricky realities Animation Film Festival, Wien, 2020
-SGUARDI ALTROVE Film Festival, Milan, 2020
-FAIRY TALES/Queer Film Festival, Calgary, 2020 WINNER: Audience Favourite Award for BEST SHORT FILM
-OPAX Documentary Film Festival,Croatia, 2020
-SCHWULE Filmwoche Freiburg, 2020
-FESTIVAL MIX: Cine y Diversidad Sexual/ Film & Sexual Diversity, Mexico City 2020
-FLYING BROOM International Women’s Film Festival, Ankara, 2020
-LIBERATION DOC FEST, Bangladesh 2020
-LOBO FEST- Festival Internacional de Filmes, Brasilia, 2019, WINNER: Best International Film
-MERLINKAInternational queer film festival, Belgrade 2019, WINNER: Best Animated Film
–LOVERS Film FESTIVAL-Museo del Cinema Torino, 2019
–TLVFest- Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival, Cinemateque Tel Aviv, 2019, WINNER: Honorable Mention.
–JFBB/Jewish Film Festival Berlin Brandeburg, 2019
–SEDICI CORTO Int. Film Festival, Forlì-Italy, 2019, WINNER: Special Mention-Jury Prize
-FLORENCE Queer Int. Film Festival, 2019
–SZCZECIN Documentary Film Festival, Category: Best european documentary, 2019
–DOKUBAKU International Documentary Film Festival, 2019
-SAN DIEGO Italian Film Festival– Italy Exported/Shorts in Competition 2019
-WEITERSTADT Queer FilmFest, 2019, WINNER: BEST MITTELLANGE Film
-BEIJING Queer International FilmFest, 2019
-ST. LOUIS International Film Festival 2019, Oscar® qualifying film festival//documentary short subject
–RIFF / Rome Independent Film Festival, 2019, WINNER: Special Mention/ Animation Section.
-MOVIEVALLEY Bazzacinema FilmFest, Bologna 2019
–ANIMASIVO-Festival de Animación Contemporánea de la Ciudad de México, 2019
–FANCINE GAY-Festival de Cine LGBT de Extremadura, 2019
–VIDEOETNOGRÁFICA/ INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL,Museo Etnográfico de Castilla 2019
–KOLKATA International Film Fest, 2019
–SHORT FILM AWARDS-Newark, 2019,WINNER: Best Short Documentary, Best writing in a Documentary Short (Monica Manganelli)
–IFFC/CARDIFF Italian Film festival, 2019
-STORIA IN CORTO/ Film festival, Mentana 2019. WINNER: Best Short Film
-LJUBLJANA LGBT Film Festival-Slovenian Cinema Center, 2019
-ACCORDI@DISACCORDI-Napoli/Palazzo delle Arti, 2019. WINNER: Best Documentary
-ATLANTIDOC / Festival Internacional de Cine Documental de Uruguay, 2019
-ANTAKYA International film festival, Turkey 2019, WINNER: Special Jury Prize/ Animation Section.
Merlinka JURY STATEMENT for Best Animation to Butterflies in Berlin:
“The emotional, tragi life story of Alex, happening in the time and horror of Nazi atrocities, inspired the author of Butterflies in Berlin to create an unreal world of beautiful moving collages, images and characters that depict, unfortunately, true events. The refined aesthetics of the character captivate the visual skillful and unobtrusive dramaturgy leads through the film. The overall complex artistic and directorial solutions made us want to watch the movie again and to find new hidden parts. It was an extremely difficult task to create such a richly animated film.”
Honorable Mention from TELAVIV/TLVFEST – Jury statement: “Through beautiful, amazingly made Art Deco image, this film outlines an important period in the history of the LGBTQ community, while the main character crossing the boundaries of gender, prohibitions and existence. We’re happy to give the award to the film “Butterflies in Berlin – Diary of a Soul Split in two” by Monica Manganelli.
The film has been invitated by the Italian Embassy in Berlin for the HOLOCAUST REMEMBRANCE DAY 2020, for a special event and debate to commemorate the victims of the Shoa, together the international journalist Tonia Mastrobuoni (Repubblica).