RIFF Movies Archive

China Playtime

Italy, 2015, DvCam - Color - 77

Lucio Lionello

Massimo Giovara e Patrizia Giangrand

Gabriele Monaco, Simone Gigiaro, Lucio Lionello e Massimo Giovara

Massimo Giovara

Damiano Monaco

CODS, Andrea Cremisi, Giorgio Li Calzi

Mirko Guerra


H12 FILM / Coup d'idée / Film Commission Torino Piemonte


The movie “China Playtime” is a project born from the joint venture between Massimo Giovara, theatre actor, and H12, an artistic independent film production unit. The project originates from a raw material, a video footage of about 25 hours realized with a semi-professional camera in standard definition 4 : 3, produced by Massimo Giovara in the period July/September 2006 at Dalian Discovery Kingdom in China, originally created as video autobiographical diary. The images of this archive are able to grasp, almost in an impressionist manner, a time of rapid changes in China, where new wealthy generations began to consume large amounts of Western culture reproducing it in an unnatural and purely ritual way, in a context of exponential economic, demographic and urban growth. After nine years from the shot and after a deep analysis of all the video material, H12 thought that the potential inherent in the images was appropriate to draft a text that could overturn a classical perspective of documentary. The basic idea of the film is to find a common compelling thread, able to summarize the available material (reprocessed and reinterpreted semantically with pure invention elements, in order to facilitate the construction of a fictional scheme) in a hybrid and composite expression, in the form and in the content. The images were thus deprived of their original narrative content and have been used in support of a new narrative structure, a storyline able to propose a layering of signifies, adding and subtracting different reading levels until the end of the movie. The film deals with possible new horizons for the western spirituality, currently facing hard time in attracting believers due to the fierce competition of consumerism and materialism, as well as cultural and moral relativism. Hence , the need to seek new markets, proposing new and ambitious strategies. The plot unfolds like a Chinese boxes game, whose progressive revelations run the fine line of truth and fiction and then they get mixed up in a large grey area, which stretches between the textual probable and the visual improbable, almost allegorical and not without surprises.

In 1991 he graduated at Turin Department of Humanities in Film Studies: History and Criticism. In between 1988 and 1996 he collaborates as film co-director with Alessandro Tannoia with whom he realizes several short films presented at the most important Italian and European film festivals. During this period of time he exhibits ten different short films at the Turin Film Festival. In 1991 he won with the short film, Where Everything Is the 2nd prize Italian shorts at the Turin Film Festival. In 1993 the short film Out Of Here wins the "Italian shorts" at the 50th Exhibition of the Venice Film Festival. Between 1997 and 2000 he works with Videogruppo TV to produce three series of 15 "Experimental Pauses" co-directed with A. Tannoia and D. DiLernia. In 2000 he realizes Turin, une ville a decouvrir, an architectural and promotional documentary presented in Paris during the nomination of Turin as the hosting city for the 2006 Olympics Games. Between 2001 and 2002 he collaborate with the web TV "The-Set.tv" producing Cinematographic Pills. He collaborates with different roles and skills in thematic films, audiovisual installation, screenings, dubbing and miscellaneous for TV shows with AIACE, with the International Sport Cinema Festival of Torino and with the Goethe Institute in Turin. He dedicated for some years to his love for theater, founding with F.Melotti and GF.Lovera the theatrical company JeanMarieVolonté creating the shows "Bio_Logico" and "Retrospective" presented at the Festival delle Colline Torinesi. In 1997 he participates as a jury member at GLBT Festival in Torino. in international short films section. From 2003 to 2008, he is the jury member for the 50 Hours Film Festival in Turin. He teaches Film Studies at the European Institute of Design in Turin since 2002, with specifics on History of Cinema, Narration Techniques, Shooting and Direction. Since 2010 he collaborates with the Film Production Company H12 realizing dreamlike short movies as well as historical documentaries. In 2014 he wins the "Best Editing" award for the documentary Valetti. The Forgotten Hero at the 35th Palermo Sport Film Festival. Recently he directs the movie “China Playtime”, released in September 2015 for H12.




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