The One and The Many gains access to maximum security Italian prison Volterra, which houses the revolutionary inmate theater program Compagnia Della Fortezza. Theater artist Armando Punzo works with inmates to bring personal meaning to the works of Jean Genet, unlocking inmate voices like never before, and from their many diverse stories and experiences, builds one community.
From The Director: Inaya Yusuf
My work is often fueled by my celebration of the miniscule, the mundane, the ordinary and the unnoticed. I am driven to create films that challenge conventional understandings of communities that exist in within our society. I want to create work that extends my curiosity, enhances my technical virtuosity and stretches my emotional capacity.
That is why, when I learned of the incredible theatrical work Compagnia della Fortezza and Armando Punzo were doing in a maximum-security prison in Italy, I wanted to know more, and to see this for myself.
Documenting a prison theatrical troupe like Compagnia della Fortezza allows me the opportunity to not only capture but also prolong the rapture of movement, the actors’ eager bodies and incomparable self-discipline. I believe that theater engages the critical questions that define us. The splendor of theater provides me, as a spectator, a great appreciation for the body—in understanding and appreciating form. It is in this social and artistic contract—between performer, performance, and spectator—that communities are built, upon the mutual appreciation for both the subject matter and the dedication of all participants. What better place for this positive community-strengthening exercise, the act of theatre, to take place than in a prison, where hope and change and community bonds are often so tenuous?
This film is an opportunity for us all to learn about Compagnia della Fortezza and its inmate-actors from the ground up. The One and The Many will explore how deeply impactful theatre and arts programs can be for inmates.
How Will Your Support Help?
The fundraising goal of our Kickstarter campaign for The One and The Many is $40,000. These funds are essential to our project because they will get us through our two major rounds of filming on location at the prison: one round was recently completed in the month of July, and a second round upcoming in October. The funds we raise through this Kickstarter campaign will also go towards post-production—media management, editing, graphics, etc—which is beginning as this campaign kicks off. Some of you may know that post-production can be a long process for independent films, because the costs can rack up easily while going through hours and hours of footage that needs to be edited, color corrected, processed, archived… it takes lots of time and manpower, and your support will help get us through that vital stage for our film!
Beyond raising funds, we hope that our Kickstarter campaign for The One and The Many will help us reach people who are similarly interested in the important work being done with inmates and artists. There are other programs that work within prisons to bring creativity, team-building, and avenues for self-expression to inmates. We happen to focus on one of them. Compared to the staggering number of inmates there are in the world—10.6 million—these programs are few and far between. Our hope is that The One and The Many will spread the wonderful work of Compagnia della Fortezza and its positive impact, inspiring the creation of more theatre and arts programs within prisons.
What is on the plate for you?
We want to make this project even more special to you with our exclusive incentives:
Links to artists involved:
The Team Behind The One And The Many
Inaya Graciana Yusuf (Director) is an Indonesian-American filmmaker. She has worked on short documentaries to feature length projects such as Miriam, Amplify: The Story of Synesthetes, Dhalang and Minding Our Own. Most recently, she worked under David Tedeschi on Martin Scorsese’s documentary The New York of Review of Books. She was previously the production manager for STEREOTYPES, a web-based series directed by Rae, which aired on Pharell Williams’ channel, I AM OTHER. Prior to working in the film industry Inaya worked in multiple galleries and museums in New York and Chicago. She also spent a couple of years as a freelance graphic designer for design and advertising agencies.
Donatella Baggio Betti (Interpreter and Translator) is a freelance interpreter who performs simultaneous and sequential translation of conferences, meetings, and events, with a special focus and interest on culture, the arts, and cinema. Donatella has worked for film festivals, events, and cultural institutions including: International Film Festivals of Venice and Locarno, Festival dei Popoli in Florence, River to River - Florence Indian Film Festival, Unifrance Rendez-Vous du Cinéma Français in Paris, Shield of Art, ArteCinema in Naples, and the Gucci Museum in Florence. Donatella has worked with authors and artists such as Ken Loach, Tim Robbins, Rupert Everett, Terry Gilliam, Sir Anthony Hopkins, Shirin Neshat, Alfredo Jaar, Omer Fast, Sarah Morris, Melik Ohanian, Isaac Julien, Spike Lee, and Alex Gibney.
Seth Aaron Mooney (2nd Camera Operator and Photographer) is a freelance photographer and a Digital Technician and Consultant for editorial and commercial fashion photographers. Seth works closely with photographers to achieve their desired look and color profiles as well as manage the digital assets and workflow on set for publications including Vogue, Elle, and Interview to name a few. Seth's clients include Miles Aldridge, Boo George, Deborah Turbeville, Craig McDean, David Burton and Koto Bolofo working on international campaigns for clients such as Valentino, Tiffany & Co., Mac Cosmetics, Ralph Lauren, Target, and Neiman Marcus. He is the co-founder and principal of Pawn Works Gallery in Chicago. His personal work can be viewed at www.sethmooney.com.
Roberto Gambotto Remorino (Sound Recordist) has worked as a freelance sound recordist and mixer since 1997. He previously worked as an assistant in Milan at Video & Co, a production company with a focus in corporate videos and conventions, where he learned the basics of video production. Born in Turin, Roberto graduated from a science high school in Casale Monferrato, and studied music theory and classical guitar. After graduating from Turin University with a degree in chemistry, Roberto spent a year doing community service in Genoa with a muscular dystrophy association, before beginning his professional career in video production and sound.
A quick note to you…
You got it, KICKSTARTER IS AN ALL OR NOTHING PROPOSITION! If we do not reach our $40,000 minimum goal, we do not receive any money. If we don't meet our goal, your credit card will not be charged and this project will stall. We want to stay on track, so please donate! Meeting our goal means your credit card will be charged at the end of the campaign period, and while we get to continue our handwork on the film, you get to enjoy our exclusive rewards to you!
The only way ideas spread is if those who are moved by them share them, one step at a time. If you are thinking of other ways to support us and help us see it through, please consider sharing this project with someone you know who might be interested. Not to mention, if you could please consider sharing it on Facebook and Twitter, it would be such a blessing for our campaign.
Risks and challenges
Some potential risks for The One and The Many are the natural risks that come with shooting on location in a maximum security prison. We are subject to the rules and regulations of the prison security staff. There may be events or spontaneous schedule changes at the prison that are beyond our control, and could affect our shoot schedule. To protect against losing shoot time due to unforeseen circumstances, we’ve arranged for 2 rounds of filming: the first round is currently underway and will last for the month of July, and the second round will begin in October. By arranging two separate occasions to film at the prison for long stretches of time, we are giving ourselves more opportunities to capture the various elements of Compagnia della Fortezza’s rehearsal process and performances.
We plan to shoot as much as possible in the prison and at the rehearsals and performances. However, we will also shoot interviews with the theatre director Armando Punzo and prison officials, so that we have a variety of footage to pull from.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)