The Successor

The Successor, Mattia Epifani, 52′, Italy 2015

An ex-producer of anti-personnel landmines undertakes a journey in Bosnia Herzegovina where he is able to reckon with himself and face the ghosts of his past.

Cinema Primavera, friday 29th april 20.30, sunday 1st may 21.30

Title The Successor
Duration 52’ 34’’
Year 2015
Country Italy
Genre Documentary
Language Italian, bosnian, english
Subtitles Italian
Director Mattia Epifani
Screenwriter Mattia Epifani, Francesco Lefons
DOP Giorgio Giannoccaro
Sound Gianluigi Gallo
Editing Mattia Soranzo
Sound Editing Gianluigi Gallo
Music Gabriele Panico
Cast Vito Alfieri Fontana, Nijaz Memić, Senaid Abdihodeic, Rarija Besic
Production Apulia Film Commission, Fluid Produzioni
Distribution Deckert distribution
Festival IDFA, 33 Torino Film Festival, Slamdance Film Festival, Goteborg Film festival, Hotdocs 2016 Toronto
Awards Premio Cipputi – 33 Torino Film Festival; “Premio speciale Visioni Doc” e una “Menzione speciale della giuria” a Visioni Italiane 2016
Web Site

The engineer Vito Alfieri Fontana is the previous owner of Tecnovar, an Apulian company specialized in landmines production and sale. A deep existential crisis brought the engineer to question himself, his own job and his family. Especially the relationship he had with his father, a charismatic as oppressive presence is his life. One question seems to be haunting him: how many were the victims caused by his work in Tecnovar? The answer is the beginning of an existential trip from Italy to a war-torn Bosnia Erzegovina, where teams of sappers and mine specialists are still working in land remediation.

Director’s Statement
For many years Vito Alfieri Fontana was what the world expected him to be: an experienced designer, a respected employer, a successful industrialist. The rightful successor of a father who had transformed a small southern-Italian electricals factory into an industry leader in the production of anti-personnel and anti-tank landmines: Tecnovar. But the journey which appears to Fontana to be a foregone conclusion undergoes an unexpected change. The duty of succession, never called into question until that moment, would be supplanted by the ethical necessity to curb the production of mines.
It’s the beginning of a different story, the story of an irreconcilable scission between Mr. Fontana the engineer and designer, and Vito Alfieri, a soul in search of redemption.
On his obscure journey the man, split in two, prisoner of a conflict between duty and conscience, spectrally crosses Bosnia, a country disfigured by the ordeal of anti-personnel landmines, entirely aware that his inner conflict will remain unresolved.
In this respect, the story of Vito Alfieri Fontana is not the classic parable of redemption, but the tormented journey of a man who disowns himself in order to give himself a second chance, at the same time practising a lucid exercise in self-control to hold back that slumbering but present side of him which would still like to sit down at the drawing board.

Il successore
Il successore

Director’s bio-filmography
Mattia Epifani was born in Lecce in 1985. Since 2004 has been working as director and editor. In 2008 he was the assistant-director of Barletti and Conte for the full-lenght movie Fine Pena Mai. In 2010 Epifani directed the documentary Rockman, awarded in several festivals. In 2013 he directed and produced the short-documentary UBU R1e, set in Lecce’s district prison and whose actors were inmates of the R1 section. In 2015 Epifani directed two more documentaries: The Successor and The Best. He is member of Muud Film, an indipendent production enterprise, and of Io Ci Provo, a prison-theatre company.