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Giuseppe Magi - A century long story of emigration and dreams

In 1918, the young figurine maker Giuseppe Magi was born in Mediavalle del Serchio, a mountainous area in northern Tuscany, has just landed in Helsinki, Finland, after adventures and wanderings throughout Europe. Exactly one hundred years later, a group of teenage students from Finland, Ireland and Spain, accompanied by Italian high school students from Mediavalle del Serchio, from the Higher Institute of Education in Barga (Lucca), visit the Museo della Figurina di Gesso e dell'Emigrazione (Coreglia Antelminelli, Lucca, Tuscany) a few kilometers away from the town where Giuseppe Magi was born.

  • Francesco Tomei
    Writer & Director
  • Stefano Cosimini
    Cinematography & Editing
    Sol3, The Way Out/The Way In, Abducted
  • Sebastiano Catignani
    Key Cast
    "Giuseppe Magi"
    L'Ospite, Abducted
  • Neon Film Production
  • ISI - Barga, Lucca
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    11 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    January 10, 2019
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Italian, Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Francesco Tomei was born in Barga (Tuscany) in 1987, where he graduated from the Languages High School. During his career, he moved several times, for short or longer periods, abroad, to England and Spain. He obtains first a three-year degree, in 2010, and then three years later a Master's degree at the University of Florence, in Performing Arts. For both graduation, he made a long time of scientific research in different archives of Rome and Naples. He studied the field of theatre “Actors and dramaturgy of the Neapolitan theater between the seventeenth and twentieth centuries”. He collaborates with the University Theater Company of the city of Florence, "Binario di Scambio", as an actor and organizer (2010-2013), and from 2010 he begins the collaboration, still active today, with Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo Onlus, the foundation leading the regional network of theatres in Tuscany, working first in the fields of communication as a press office agent and then as a project- manager in the field of research and development of new theater audience.
From 2013 he took a break from business world to attend a PhD degree, still at Universiry of Florence, in “History of the arts and entertainment”. His final Phd-thesis is still regarding the field of Theater, it is a social and anthropological research “Show business of the city of Prato in the eighteenth century. For a historical-archival survey”. During the years of the PhD he entered the world of journalism working as a theater critic in theatre of the whole Tuscany region.
After completing the PhD, he returned to collaborate with Fondazione Toscana Spettacolo Onlus working in various theaters in Tuscany as a marketing manager and it is at this time that he began working with Neon Film Production, Stefano Cosimini and Simone Gonnelli for the executive production of a web series , Teatronline, dedicated to theater and social life, which shows the backstage of Carrara, Siena, Reggello (Florence) and Barga (Lucca) ’s theatre, interviewing italian and international professional companies of theatre, and tells the stories of the everyday life of many citizens who attend theaters.
For the production of the documentary Giuseppe Magi, the hub of Neon Film Production returned after ten years as professionist, to collaborate with the director and teachers of the school where they graduated, on the occasion of an Erasmus Plus Project that saw a hundred students coming from Barga (LU) various parts of Europe.

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Director Statement

Giuseppe Magi, a century long story of emigration and dreams, is my first work as director of a documentary. In an open conversation to the young citiziens of the future the figurine maker Giuseppe Magi sends his message through the bottle of time to the young people of our new Millenium. A hundred years later, the youth must overcome the same scenarios of unmployment and poverty push, especially the new generations. The story speaks to the new generations of italian wanting to leave their country in persuit of their dreams. The project was born in the form of a docu-drama, with in depth interviews from a group of students, testifies to one hundred years of incedents through history regarding this phenomenon of the migration of Italian and other european youth to countries not of their origins.

I think this documentary is able to speak to the Millenials generation about our daily present social context. This experience of an adventurous journey, full of sacrifices, adversity and hardship, typical of the insecurity of a transitory moment like the one of migration to another country is a metaphor for the existential parable of the formation of the individual, of growing and forming in a hostile society, which can engulf the dreams of an adolescent.