The Persol 3-D Award 2011 to Zapruder Filmmakersgroup

The Persol 3-D Award of the 68th Venice International Film Festival 2011 will be awarded to Zapruder Filmmakersgroup (David Zamagni, Nadia Ranocchi, Monaldo Moretti), which has been exploring the possibilities of stereoscopic film for many years, for the production of films and installations that borrow the techniques of 3-D cinema and crossbreed them with visual, performing and film arts.

Their pioneering rediscovery and application of stereoscopic techniques, combined with their coherent radical experimentation, makes Zapruder’s use of 3D a necessary and never secondary choice of language, with a specific influence on the temporal dimension of the image. Zapruder‘s independent and carefully crafted approach, combined with their experimental and creative use of 3-D, produce projects of expanded cinema that invite the spectator to plunge into unsettling tactile, visual and sound abysses. 

The Persol 3-D Award 2011 will be presented at a ceremony at the Lido during the 68th Festival (31 August – 10 September 2011) which is directed by Marco Mueller and organized by the Venice Biennale, the latter chaired Paolo Baratta.

The Persol 3-D Award – the first international prize of its kind, now being bestowed for the third consecutive year – will be awarded to Zapruder, a group of Italian filmmakers whose work, blending the visual, performing and cinematic arts, is notable for its technique and originality. Zapruder’s pioneering rediscovery and application of stereoscopic techniques, as well as their radical and thorough research, makes their use of 3-D a compelling and always intriguing application of a language of such intensity that it affects the image’s temporal dimension. The group’s independent and artisanal approach, combined with the creative use of 3-D, create expanded cinema projects that invite the viewer to plunge into provocative tactile, visual and sonic depths.

Previous recipients of the Persol 3-D Award have been Joe Dante for The Hole 3D in 2009 and, in 2010, James Cameron for Avatar and Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois for Dragon Trainer (How To Train Your Dragon). The Persol 3-D Award aims to celebrate a new frontier in cinematic language that is attracting increasing creative interest among filmmakers and studios, and is becoming extremely popular among the public. State-of-the-art stereoscopic 3-D films are bringing the movie theater back to center-stage, and has generated talk of a decisive watershed moment in the history of cinema and the advent of a “third cinematographic revolution” (after sound and color). As in previous years, 2011 has seen significant advances in research, and the development of new 3-D equipment. Many leading filmmakers and studios are currently working with stereoscopic 3-D, adapting it to both animated and live-action projects, while a growing number of films are being created and produced for the new generation of stereoscopic 3-D.

Persol is a sponsor of the Venice Film Festival for the seventh consecutive year.

Biographical notes

Zapruder Filmmakersgroup

Zapruder was founded by David Zamagni and Nadia Ranocchi, who were joined in 2001 by Monaldo Moretti. The group has been collaborating with musician Francesco “Fuzz” Brasini since 2006. Starting in 2005, the Zapruder began exploring and applying stereoscopic techniques to the production of films and of installations that recover 3-D cinema techniques. The group designs and builds both stereoscopic recording and projection devices, creating what they define as “Chamber Cinema”, a form of tactile and embodied movie-making that is also a kind of disembodied theater. In January 2011 they launched, a totally anaglyphic on-line gallery showcasing excerpts from Zapruder’s stereoscopic production.

The group’s work has been regularly shown at leading international festivals and art venues, including Paris’ Centre Pompidou, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Milan’s Triennale, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin/Madrid, StadtKino Wien, Geneva’s Biennale de l’image en mouvement, the Milanesiana, Graz’s Steirischer Herbst, and Brussel’s Kunsten Festival des Arts. Zapruder has also been involved in important collaborations with Italy’s most prominent experimental theatre companies, including Motus, Fanny&Alexander and Romeo Castellucci / Societas Raffaello Sanzio. Among the awards Zapruder has received are: the Werkleitz Award at the 48th Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2002; the Premio Iceberg 2002; the Premio Riccione TTV Performing Arts on Screen 2006; and in 2010 the “Lo Straniero” Prize, an award conferred by the monthly of the same name founded and directed by Goffredo Fofi, which cited the group for “the hybrid and non-commercial nature of their  ‘chamber cinema’, which makes this venture an important example of radicalism and resistance on the national and international scene”.

Zapruder is based in Roncofreddo (FC). Other core members are: Mattia Dallara, sound designer; Andrea “Mario” Marini, web and digital effects; and Elena Biserna, press officer.

Zamagni and Ranocchi presented the experimental 3-D films Cock-Crow and Daimon at the 66th Festival, and also participated at the 67th Festival with their first feature-length 3-D film All Inclusive (Italy/Austria) which was not in competition.

Spell – The Hypnotist Dog (2011), written and directed by David Zamagni and Nadia Ranocchi and the first episode of Zapruder’s new stereoscopic project SPELL, and Joule (2010), the “other half” of the film All Inclusive which was previewed at last year’s edition of the Festival, will be screened during the presentation ceremony. Furthermore, the award ceremony will be opened by the screening of Evolution (Megaplex) (2010), a stunning 3-D video collage by video-artist Marco Brambilla, who has an extraordinary career in genre cinema.

Spell. The Hypnotist Dog

(20’, HD stereoscopic/col., 2011)

The story of Oscar, a dog with supernatural powers, and of his master Werner Hirsch, as told by a television crew.

The SPELL project was conceived as a hybrid composition, reflecting the multi-faceted nature of the term from which it takes its title. Spell can refer to an enchantment, a magic charm, but also to a moment, a lapse of time (what meteorology calls a wave) as well as giving the letters of a word in order. The common denominator to all the Spell projects is duality, the double, understood as sharing in a unitary economy. The combination of elements in Spell tends to produce cryptic and solemn events whose manifestation is uncertain or at least dubious. The project is composed of two short films, two audiovisual installations, and a concert/performance.


(22’ HD, Col/B&W, 2010)

 The “joule” is a unit of energy, work, or heat, and the term is adapted here as a sort of prayer, an exercise in devotion and the act of letting go. In the sequential frames of Joule a daily practice manifests itself in the form of worship, of liturgy; it is an expression of economies and tensions straddling the realms of the political and the sacred.

Joule is part of Chiavi in Mano, a two-faceted project, consisting of two complementary and autonomous wholes, Joule and All Inclusive. Both explore the certain and contradictory relationships between work, giving and sacrifice. The project’s effigy is a fish, a perfect example of a living being that can eat members of its own species as long as they are smaller.

Marco Brambilla (director, video-artist)

Born in Milan in 1960, he currently resides in Los Angeles and New York.  His career spans the fine arts, film and commercials. He has had solo shows at the Projectraum Kunsthalle (Bern, 2000), the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York, 2003), the Contemporary Art Forum (Santa Barbara, 2004) and this year at the Santa Monica Museum of Art, besides having his works the collections of some of the most prestigious international museums (the Guggenheim Museum in New York and the ARCO Foundation in Madrid). The New Yorker praised his work as: “absorbing and delicate enough to restore one’s faith in the medium”. Brambilla makes his work using found film footage that is edited, layered, and spliced to create compelling new narratives and stunning visual mosaics.

Brambilla’s multi-layered tableaux of interconnecting images and looped video blend into an expansive landscape that forms his hallmark style. This year he also presented his work in the group exhibition Neoludica, a collateral event at the 54th International Art Biennale in Venice. He debuted in cinema in the ‘90s with Demolition Man (1993) directing Sylvester Stallone. Later he directed Excess Baggage (1997) with Alicia Silverstone, Benicio Del Toro, and  Christopher Walken, and the controversial collective film Destricted, presented at Cannes Film Festival in 2006, and directed with Marina Abramovic, Matthew Barney, Larry Clark, Gaspar Noé, Richard Prince, and Sam Taylor-Wood.

 Evolution (Megaplex)

(3’40’’, 3D HD/col., 2010)

Evolution (Megaplex) is a large-scale video collage which displays the history of human kind, woven together with more than 500 moments from approximately 400 individual epic and iconic Hollywood films into a rich tapestry that scroll horizontally across time.  The source material is primarily genre films where historic milestones are interpreted as spectacle; the theatricality of the images presents us with a satirical take on the origin and destiny of Man as told through the lexicon of the “Hollywood” epic.