Carlo Ghioni’s ‘The Man Who Collects Elastics’ Wins Festival Praise

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Filmmaker and ECU faculty member Carlo Ghioni on set. (Image courtesy Carlo Ghioni)

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Posted on February 20, 2024 | Updated February 26, 2024, 1:55pm

The filmmaker and ECU faculty member was lauded by reviewers for his “ingenious” handling of the film’s themes and form.

A recent film by director and ECU faculty member Carlo Ghioni has been garnering international attention with screenings and awards worldwide.

Titled The Man Who Collects Elastics, the animated short has shown at prestigious festivals including the Noida International Film Festival (India), the Venice Biennale, the Barcelona Indie Awards, the Budapest Movie Awards, Film in Focus Bucharest, Cine de la Toba in Mexico City, Tokyo International Film Festival, IMAFF Uganda-Kampala, New Orleans Film Festival and Brussels Film Festival. Recognitions include Best Animation, Best Original Script, Best Art Direction, Best Foreign Short, Best Cinematography, Best Comedy and Best Production. Most recently, the film earned Carlo a nod for Best Director at the London Film Awards.

The film features a music score created by ECU staff member Matt Stephanson.

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Still from Carlo Ghioni's The Man Who Collects Elastics. (Image courtesy Carlo Ghioni)

The Corriere della Sera, Italy’s oldest and most widely read newspaper, writes that the film’s painstaking stop-motion techniques infuse its themes with a “dual significance.”

“So much time on set for just one minute on the screen,” reads Corriere della Sera’s review, published following the film’s Venice screening. “Choosing [stop-motion] to tell a film that, from its title, evokes the craftsmanship of manual labor, its importance, its charm, its magic, its ‘power,’ is certainly not accidental and adds layers of interpretation to the work.”

Carlo “ingeniously stages a continuous exchange between the real world and memories in miniature,” the review continues. “He envisions a dialogue with a lost love that is poignant, poetic and extremely sincere. The declared fiction of the materials is a winning choice and becomes a brilliant narrative device.”

Art direction, sets and scenography were all designed and fabricated in Carlo’s workshop. The puppet’s design – from drawing through 3D modeling – was also accomplished there. This self-sufficiency was very much intentional, Carlo notes.

“These films have responded to a calling to detach myself from the film industry and its proliferation of script editors, line producers, marketing experts, fight coordinators, intimacy coordinators, dialogue coaches, which corrupted my own passion for the craft,” he says.

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Production still from Carlo Ghioni's The Man Who Collects Elastics. (Image courtesy Carlo Ghioni)

The last step of the puppets’ fabrication was completed in collaboration with artists in Prague. Carlo notes he “developed a profound human and artistic bond” with these artists.

“They are fabricating the puppets for the next projects and … I envision the establishment of the theatre puppets in the rural area where I reside. I see puppet theatre and stop-motion as intertwined along the next years/projects of my path.”

Creative passion drives Carlo forward. His next project, Krow On, will tell the second chapter of the story begun in The Man Who Collects Elastics, and will feature the same characters. Krow On is co-produced by ARTE and funded by Canada Council. It will begin filming in summer 2024.

Also in development is The Balcon Question, written with the purpose of creating and staging automata in a film. The project is already gathering steam, having won Best Animation Script at the Oxford Script Awards and Best Comedy at Chicago Script Awards in January 2024.

Visit ECU online to learn more about studying Film + Screen Arts at Emily Carr.

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