Un uomo deve essere forte
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Gardone Val Trompia is a cement-casting burg at the bottom of a narrow valley: the Valtrompia is a sequence of towns flowing one after the other, beside metallurgic factories built in uncontrolled time of industrialization.


Jack is 28 and he was born and raised in that valley, where he is still living. He has a part-time job, a mother that is taking her husband’s retirement benefits since when she was 32 and an older brother, which moved to the outskirts of Milan for his job as a factory worker. His father died when Jack was just 3 years old, when he was still Jessica. Now Jack decided to start the transition female to male, in order to become what he has always felt to be: a man.


Through a daily life made of part-time jobs, pub friends and no hobbies, Jack starts asking himself about what being a man means, beside the physical characteristics, and what kind of a man he should be, wondering what type of masculine models are offered by his valley.

The Project

Jack hasn’t always been a man, at least not for the Italian State nor the other people.
His body has always betrayed him. At the age of 25, though, he had to listen his skin and he started the transition female to male.

The authors have filmed the first testosterone injections, through the change of the data until the mastectomy surgery.
But, above all, they spent with him the long days of the industrial province where he was born and he still lives, seeking the answer to the question «what is a man?».

A man must be strong is also the first Italian documentary enlightening the intense and natural process of identity construction.




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Elsi Perino

Born in Turin in 1984, she graduated in a two-years Master in Storytelling at the Scuola Holden in Turin in 2009. She started working at Ufficio Pastorale Migranti as storyteller for people asking for political asylum; in the meanwhile, she contributed to write the contents of the book La frontiera addosso by Luca Rastello, Laterza publishing, regarding European and Italian immigration policies. Since 2010 she started working on movie sets as script supervisor and continuity for movies, documentaries and advertisements for Rai, Mediaset and Walt Disney Italia. In 2013 she wrote the graphic novel Negli occhi il cinema nelle mani l’amore, under supervision of Giovanni Minerba. Since 2013 she teaches cinema and storytelling in elementary and secondary schools with Starring Film and Fondazione Crt. Since February 2017 she works as movie selector for Lovers International Film Festival – the Turin movie festival that focuses on Lgbt topics.

Ilaria Ciavattini

Born in 1988, she attended a two-years Master in Storytelling at the Scuola Holden in Turin, where she graduated in 2009. She writes short films, booktrailers and music videos. In 2009 she directed the music video of the song Ho Visto Cose che… by Yo Yo Mundi (from Album Rosso, produced by Il Manifesto). In 2010 she directed Fortino Lato Est, which received a special mention at European Short Pitch 2010. She wrote and directed with Silvia Lombardo the short film Ninna Nanna Ninna No, an episode of “La Ballata dei Precari”, which was produced by 01Cinema.net and shot with the guest star Geppi Cucciari. Some film previews were shown at the Sguardialtrove 2010 Festival in Milan and at Teatro Valle Occupato in Rome in 2012. She is currently an Italian assistant professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies – Seoul, in the Department of Italian Translation and Interpretation. She lives between Italy and South Korea.

pietrefilm@gmail.comGaia D'Angelo Press Officer: gaia.dangelo@gmail.com

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