People are already saying now that there is a world before and one after the lockdown enforced as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is not only true for our personal lives but also for our jobs. Being involved in many projects for the film industry, I initially witnessed this transition while working on the social media campaign for the documentary Cercando Valentina – Il mondo di Guido Crepax, directed by Italian filmmaker Giancarlo Soldi and produced by Stefania Casini through Bizef Produzione, which also handles the distribution with the collaboration of Valentina Guglielmo.
The documentary offers viewers a glimpse at the creative world of Guido Crepax, who is considered one of the masters of Italian comics and who has influenced erotic comics internationally. Screened at the 2019 Venice Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori, the film focuses on Crepax’ famous character Valentina Rosselli, whose physical traits and iconic black bob haircut were inspired by the American actress Louise Brooks. The documentary mixes a live action fictional quest by Valentina’s lover Philip Rembradt – who is also a character from Crepax’ comics – interspersed with animated sequences and interviews with Crepax family members, as well as filmmakers and prominent figures of the Italian cultural scene from the 1960s.
A comic book is a time capsule telling us about the world in which it appeared.
– Giancarlo Soldi
“A comic book is a time capsule telling us about the world in which it appeared. – says Soldi about his passion for the medium – Besides reading them, I began studying their style and narration. I wanted to reveal Crepax as the artist who transfers the impulses of those revolutionary and creative years into his stories. His narrative style, which breaks pages in details jazzing or dilating the rhythm, leads back to the modernity of the Nouvelle Vague.”
Together with Roberto Braga I worked as the film’s social media manager from October 2019 to the end February 2020, developing its digital communication through its pre-existing Facebook page and Instagram account by managing both organic and sponsored content. In particular we wanted to create an appealing look for the film on Instagram, leveraging Crepax’ iconic style by repurposing a set of illustrations which served as a backdrop for the multimedia materials from the film. On Facebook, we focused on a more day-by-day community-based range of services, which included managing the communication for each theatrical release across Italy, as well as repurposing citations, press coverage and short clips providing a taste of this visually rich film.
Despite the initial warm welcome from the audiences across the first round of 10-15 screenings, unfortunately the tour had to stop when the closure of the Italian movie theatres became mandatory to stop the spread of the coronavirus. The film’s theatrical distribution in currently on hold, but if you have an interest for documentaries, comics, biographies and the overall Italian cultural scene of that period, do keep an eye on social media for further updates on how you’ll be able to watch it – hopefully soon on the big screen again.