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The umpteenth Birthday/L'ennesimo compleanno

The umpteenth Birthday speaks of the inclusiveness or "exclusiveness" - in the sense of feeling excluded - experienced by the elderly in today's society, a world which, because of its fast and technological pace, does not anymore seem to have either time or space for them. Even if, up until yesterday, they used to be the true protagonists of that society.
The story focuses on Maria, an elderly lady still in full possession of her mental faculties, bursting with energy and desire to look toward the future. It is her birthday, yet, as it often the case, she is going to spend the day by herself. And still, regardless her age, Maria would like to look toward the future, to make plans, to feel alive. And she wants to feel alive here and now, not in an undefined tomorrow. She wants to feel just like she felt when, as a young lady, she used to ride downhill on her a bicycle, hands up, while the wind would poke "into her underwear".
This is a story about old age as awareness of the self, regrets, weaknesses, fragility. A story about days marked by solitary meals, and filled by the silences of solitude. We will also get to know Stefano, whom Maria will introduce to us as her "friend": a refreshing and rejuvenating presence who, thanks to his "madness", proves able to rekindle sensations she feared to have lost forever.
This is going to be a journey between disenchantment and hope, between prose and poetry, between stairways that go up and down. In a word, a journey through life.

The short film was shot entirely in Umbria (Italy) in May 2021

  • Eleonora Cecconi
  • Eleonora Cecconi
  • Alessandro Trionfetti, Produzioni dal Basso, ESP
  • Stefano Galiotto
    Key Cast
  • Maria Annunziata Porcu
    Key Cast
  • My dirty face/ Rio Sacro
  • Francesco Mengoni
  • Giulio Catarinelli
    Direttore del suono
  • Roberto Costantini
    Operatore di ripresa
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    L'ennesimo compleanno
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    20 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    June 4, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    French, Italian
  • Shooting Format:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Festival Perso Perugia Social Film Festival
    October 6, 2021
  • Internazional Toronto Women Film Festival
    October 7, 2021
  • Montreal Indipendent Film Festival
    November 3, 2021
  • Paris International Short Festival
    December 31, 2021
  • Kansas Art House Festival
    United States
    October 30, 2022
  • Vienna International Film Award
    October 30, 2022
Director Biography - Eleonora Cecconi

Graduated in literature and philosophy. I went on stage at the age of 4 and never got off. I studied theater until it became a profession as a director and as a teacher. I love cinema, music and all artistic languages that have a social function. When I have a project in mind, the first place I go to draw is the street, I stop, look at passers-by and steal from their attitudes. I believe in art as a cathartic and liberating force. This is my first film, my film debut!

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Director Statement

In working on the short film I tried to find a union and a fusion point between what I carry with me and within my theatrical experience and what is the language of cinema. There is a tribute to S. Beckett but also Kubrick and Chaplin's cinema: my muses.