Tolfa Short Film Festival

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June 1 Opening Event: VITTORIO on GASSMAN by Giancarlo Scarchilli

The documentary film “VITTORIO on GASSMAN – A life as Protagonist”, designed by Giancarlo Scarchilli and Alessandro Gassman, wants to know the human and artistic journey of one of the greatest personalities in the Italian entertainment and culture of twentieth century, who, even when rooted in the tradition of classical theater, has done everything possible to get closer to the masses.


Presented at the 67th Venice International Film Festival in 2011, the documentary has won, among others, the prestigious Sngci (National Syndicate of Film Journalists – Silver Ribbon).

Vittorio Gassman was the first, using a circus tent, to bring the “classics” (“Adelchi” by A. Manzoni) in remote places in the South of Italy, his “Hamlet” was the first show that passed, through a series of “sold out”, the 100 replicas in the same theater (Quirino in Rome); he gave an enormous contribution to the spread of both classical poetry (Dante, Leopardi, etc.) and modern one (the poets of the Beat Generation in the ‘60s); his “Protagonist” television program – a sort of container forerunner, poetry and circus acts blended harmoniously - caused a sensation (1959); and film alternated the great tragic characters (“Scent of a Woman”, “Dear Dad”, etc.) the cialtroneschi and popular ones (Beppe “the panther”, Brancaleone, the boxer of “The Monsters”).

Even his private life has often made headlines: Gassman had four children (Paola, Vittoria, Alessandro and Giacomo) by four different women…

13 months of work, 500 hours of transcribed and collected material, 1200 hours of viewing, hundreds of photos and original documents carefully selected, 38 days of shooting, 40 days of pre-assembly and 60 assembly, around 50 interviews with actors, directors, writers, producers, friends and colleagues carried out in Italy, France and Los Angeles, to tell his public and private life following the issues most dear to him: the craft, the father-son relationship, friendship, women.

To his friend Giancarlo Scarchilli one day Vittorio confided in his house: “Giancarlo… See, it’s as if I woke up at 65 and I had realized that I had lived the life of another. I, who used closed nature, shy, emotionally vulnerable, I’ve always seen in public as a self-assured, strong, bold, even cynical at times. And that I paid. But that’s okay, it was worth it”.