Doc, 7 min

In 2012, filmmaker Michelangelo Frammartino came to Satriano di Lucania to film Alberi, a cine-installation project that was shown at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. The work was based on the character of the Romito, a treelike man who, according to the myth, rejected the idea of migration and planted his roots in his own land. Following the film, the local residents of this southern Italian town decided to revive and expand this nearly forgotten ritual that once formed part of the carnival tradition. 

Director’s statement:

Inspired by Frammartino and armed with a 16mm Bolex camera, I journeyed down to Basilicata to film this walking forest festival in Satriano di Lucania. I wanted to experience the magic of a hundred tree-men emerging from the woods to dance in the town square. 

The documentary explores the evolution of this ancestral tradition and celebrates the union of humans and the natural world. This modern-day festival is no longer about a few hermits, but brings together the entire community thanks to Frammartino’s Alberi and the magical power of cinema.

Presented at the following film festivals:

  • Film & Music Ischia Global Fest, Italy
  • Foça Film Days, Turkey
  • Voci dei Boschi Film Festival, Italy
  • CultureCinema2021, Mumbai India (awarded Best in Category “Festivals”)


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