Mauro Bucci

Filmmaker and Researcher in Visual Anthropology

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Determination and Passion for Cinema and Research

Mauro Bucci is an Italian award-winning filmmaker and independent researcher working in the field of Visual anthropology.
He wrote scientific essays about ethnographic cinema for Italian and international publications.
He worked as a one-man crew shooting video, recording sound, and editing footage for "Hotel Splendid", his first work as a cinematographic author. A documentary film, based on long-term ethnographic fieldwork, that was screened in over 70 events around the world.
Mauro Bucci holds a MA in Cinema from the University of Bologna and a post-graduate diploma from the School of Visual Ethnography in Rome. He is particularly concerned with film’s potential for studying and understanding human experiences and cultural practices.

"HOTEL SPLENDID" documentary film

HOTEL SPLENDID (Mauro Bucci, 2016, 90’) is an award-winning documentary film about an African community that lives in an Italian tourist hotel turned into an emergency camp for refugees.
HOTEL SPLENDID is a documentary that won 7 international prizes and was screened over 70 times in more than 25 countries: festivals, universities, theaters, cultural centres in the area between the Baltic Sea and the Central Africa, the Russia and the United States and the South America.
The documentary, first cinematic work of Mauro Bucci and made entirely by him, was completed following 12 months’ of fieldwork based on the ethnographic method of participant observation, that is living with the film subjects.


Main Publications

State University of New York (SUNY) Press

«Allegory and Gender Representation in Rivers of Sand» by Mauro Bucci. Chapter of the book «Looking with Robert Gardner» edited by W. Rothman, C. Warren and R. Meyers for the Horizons of Cinema series.
Presented at The Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts at Harvard University, the book is “Impressively informed and informative, exceptionally well organized and presented, Looking with Robert Gardner is a compendium of seminal, insightful, thoughtful and thought-provoking scholarship.” — Midwest Book Review

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Africa e Mediterraneo

«Hotel Splendid - Representing Migration Through Ethnographic Cinema» by Mauro Bucci. Article for the scientific journal «Africa e Mediterraneo».
A detailed analysis of the making of Hotel Splendid. A film that explores the daily life of a group of migrants living in a reception centre in Italy. The documentary is the culmination of a 12-month fieldwork project by Bucci, who utilizes ethnographic research to avoid stereotypes in representing this complex reality.

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«Rappresentazioni indigene: profili e tecniche del "salvataggio" etnografico. Dead Birds di Robert Gardner» by Mauro Bucci. Essay in «Rappresentare. Questioni di antropologia, cinema e narrativa» edited by Adriana Destro.
An Analysis of the so called “Salvage paradigm” in anthropological research as well as in ethnographic cinema. An article that focuses on the most famous work of R. Gardner, Dead Birds. More generally the paper involves a criticism to a recurring ethnographic approach aimed to save memories and data of “disappearing cultures”.

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Bianco e Nero - Carocci/CSC

«Forest of Bliss. Esperienza sensoriale e film etnografico» by Mauro Bucci. Article for the scientific journal «Bianco e Nero».
An analysis of the possibilities of ethnographic cinema in representing a synesthetic experience of the reality. The essay relates theories developed in the field of Anthropology of the senses to cinematic techniques.

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Visual Ethnography - University of Basilicata

«Forest of Bliss: Sensory Experience and Ethnographic Film» by Mauro Bucci. Article for the scientific journal «Visual Ethnography».
An essay about Forest of Bliss, a film that explores the ancient Indian city of Benares. The documentary is distinguished both by its dense network of visual and aural symbols with which the cycle of death and regeneration is represented and by its ability to communicate the sensory experience of being there.

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Seminars & workshops

Czech Association of Social Anthropology

«Hotel Splendid – Representing Migrations through Ethnographic Cinema» by Mauro Bucci.
«Gellner Seminars» series – CASA (Czech Association of Social Anthropology) & AntropoFEST.
Prague (Czech Republic) January 26th 2018.

University of Moscow

«HSE University’s Institute of Education» seminar by Mauro Bucci.
Moscow (Russia) February 26th 2018.

SIFEST Savignano Immagini Festival

«Ethnography of Complex Societies» conference with the participation of Mauro Bucci. SIFEST.
Savignano sul Rubicone (Italy) September 14th 2017.

Propose new projects to the Author

Mauro Bucci is specialized in making ethnographic documentaries: films that are based on extensive researches and a development of social bonds with the filmed subjects in order to represent in a new and internal perspective the complexity of human experiences and social phenomena.

Mauro Bucci often works with Run-and-Gun filmmaking techniques and he is able to achieve maximum results with low-budgets investments. He works, if necessary, in each stage of the film project: from the screenplay to the shooting and post-production, until the promotion of the final cut of the film.

Mauro Bucci even deals with workshops, masterclasses, lectures about theories and methodologies developed in the field of Ethnographic Cinema. Besides, he writes articles, essays and other types o scientific publications related to anthropology and documentary filmmaking.

For any collaboration proposal, contact the author: ; +39 3898031690.

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For any enquiries or information about Mauro Bucci’s work, please contact:
+39 3898031690

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For any enquiries or information about Mauro Bucci’s work, please contact:

Address: Mauro Bucci Ethnographic Films

Via Ticino 6 - 47042 Cesenatico (FC) - Italy
P. IVA 04389330400