White Zone

The government decrees issued between November 2020 and February 2021 dealing with the health emergency of the Covid-19 pandemic have put the winter tourism industry in serious difficulty, jeopardizing the season. In the uncertainty of a possible opening of the ski resorts, the workers of Consorzio del Cimone (Modena, Emilia Romagna) do not stop their work and make sure that the slopes can be perfectly and safely snow-covered.

The title, “White Zone”, refers sarcastically to the government's choice to allocate four colors (red, orange, yellow and white) to the Italian regions, a division based on the severity of registered COVID cases. The red color represents the worst situation in registered cases, while white color means a “clean zone” where Covid-19 registered cases get close to zero. For most of the shooting time, Emilia Romagna was marked with the color red: the white enclosed in the title wants to evoke the snow-covered mountains themselves and alludes to a clean and pristine outdoor environment where the risk of contagiousness is very low.

  • Marco Pattarozzi
    Non sono tuo amico, Frammenti, Luci Abbaglianti
  • Andrea Dalle Nogare
    Key Cast
  • Simone Verucchi
    Key Cast
  • Luciano Bellettini
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Zona Bianca
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short
  • Genres:
    Documentary, Drama
  • Runtime:
    29 minutes 50 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 10, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Marco Pattarozzi


Full-time curious and thirsty. What gets him interested in most is telling stories, worlds, people and ideas: his ideas, those of other people, good ideas. He loves doing it through filmmaking, his great passion along with skiing. He has a master's degree in Television, Cinema e New Media at IULM University in Milan. Together with his closest friend and filmmaker, he runs Sick Pine Video, his own production company. In 2018 he wrote and directed his first short film, entitled "I'm not your friend" that was distributed by Premiere Film and achieved selections in several international festivals.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Having been born and raised in a small town of the Italian Apennines, I have been fascinated by the work behind the preparation of ski resorts since I was a child. This is an unexplored world of which, however, I have always heard about, having occasionally had the opportunity to get to know some aspects of it. As a ski instructor for several years now, I cultivate today the desire to recount this hidden and unknown dimension; a reality that is, however, essential to the functioning and prosperity of winter tourism all over the world.

In this surreal period, during which the Covid-19 global pandemic has reshaped the dynamics of every industrial sector, I felt the need to observe the daily life of those involved in the preparation and maintenance of our ski slopes. A working context characterized by a multitude of activities, at times tiring and extremely delicate. With “White Zone”, I tried to shed the light on the unfamiliar working practices, such as artificial snow, beating and securing ski slopes, which are necessary operations in every winter resort.

The work of the protagonists of the film is a prolonged and very difficult to program, as it is constantly linked to the climatic conditions and meteorological variations, especially in the Apennines where the temperatures and rainfall are subject to sudden changes. Despite the decrees issued by the government imposing therefore the closure of all the ski stations in Italy, the administrations of the ski resorts are faced with difficult choices to be made: continuing the preparation work and exploiting the favorable weather conditions in view of a possible opening, or suspend all the activities and consequently trying to limit the high management costs? With “White Zone” I tried to highlight both the difficulty of these decisions and the amount of work that snow groomers cannot postpone as to ensure timely preparation and safety in the event of opening the ski resort to tourists.