Come è entrato (Within)

The closed room appears inhospitable: it’s almost completely dark, there’s dust in the air, a mattress on the floor. A girl is laying there trapped between a few threads of light. She only wears a white, thin, kind of see-through nightgown. Outside the door, someone gets closer and closer. She can hear his steps, his breath. The footsteps stop. Then the door opens and the girl looks in front of her. The sign of remembrance is torn apart by immovable pain: memory is haunting her.

  • Matteo Ciotola
  • Matteo Ciotola
    La Rivoluzione
  • Pasquale Corrado
    Cinematographer and Camera Operator
    Nina e il cielo
  • Arianna Del Gaudio
    Key Cast
    "The girl"
  • Matteo Ciotola
  • Irene Gaeta
  • Anna Gargiulo
    First Assistant Camera
  • Anna Gargiulo
    Lighting Technician
  • Matteo Ciotola
  • Irene Gaeta
  • Ivan Mazzone
    VFX designer
  • Luigi Guarino for TURTLE STUDIO, IT
    Junior VFX
  • The Pack Studio
    Technical Equipment
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Come è entrato
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
    Psychological horror, Drama, Thriller, Suspense, Experimental, Narrative
  • Runtime:
    17 minutes 24 seconds
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
    Black & White
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Naples Academy of Fine Arts
  • 2021 David di Donatello Awards
    The Academy of Italian Cinema
    In Competition
  • 2021 Oregon Scream Week Horror Film Festival
    Portland, Oregon
    United States
    May 13, 2021
    Official Selection
  • 2021 Byron Bay Underground Film Festival
    Byron Bay
    May 15, 2021
    Australian Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 2021 Festival de Sci-fi, Terror y Fantasía
    Official Selection
  • 2021 Stockholm City Film Festival
    Official Selection
  • 2021 Lisbon Film Rendezvous
    June 15, 2021
    Official Selection
  • 2020 Prague Youth Film Festival
    Czech Republic
    Czech Premiere
    Official Selection
  • 2020 Palma de Mallorca Infest
    Palma de Mallorca
    Official Selection
  • 2020 Brooklyn Silent Film Festival
    United States
    Official Selection
  • 2020 Dark Hedges International Horror Film Festival
    Belfast, United Kingdom
    October 24, 2020
    Honorable Mention
  • 2020 LA Undergound Film Forum
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Contribution to Film
  • 2020 IndieX Film Fest
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Winner: Outstanding Achievement Award (First Time Director), Best Experimental Student Short
  • 2020 LA Cinematography Awards
    Los Angeles, California
    United States
    Winner: Best First Time Director, Best BeW Cinematography
Director Biography - Matteo Ciotola

Matteo Ciotola (born 15 January 1996) graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts' Film School. He is the screenwriter and 1st AD of Joseph Troia's "The Revolution" (2019), part of the 72° Cannes Film Festival's Marché du Film, in competition as Best International Feature and First Feature at 31° Galway Film Fleadh (Ireland); in Compétition at 42° Festival of Villerupt (France). In 2019 he has also worked as a First Assistant Director in Italian feature films "Corsa Abusiva" and "Little Star" (both in post-production). "Come è entrato" is his first short movie.

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Director Statement

What is the visual bound beyond which one should not see?

I believe that cinematic space can be centrifugal.
In "Within" the screen, in terms of language, is a separation. Doors, mirrors, the dark corridor, all create a separation; extradiegetic prisms and reflective surfaces accompany the Black & White cinematography, driving the protagonist on her path through trauma. I preferred a similar linguistic choice because I was interested in the multiple nuances that the girl's perception feels after the violence, alone in her self-reclusion.

Deleuze wrote: “When virtual images proliferate like this, all together they absorb the entire actuality of the character, at the same time as the character is no more than one virtuality among others” (Deleuze 1989, 70). I intended to create a connection both conceptual and physical: the viewer observes the thoughts of the girl, being forced to interact with her mind as subjected to a disturbing telepathy; at the same time, the girl's body is almost always involved in the frame, space that surrounds her is increasingly narrow, and every time the raper returns, the memory of violence becomes more acute. This is why the unseen is not a limit, it’s an extension, a beyond; it’s a space where existence itself fades, where it’s not possible to distinguish one's identity with certainty.

The screenplay for this short was already essential and cryptic because I thought that the best way to convey these feelings was not to describe but to insinuate - and this is why the script was just the starting point: filming before and then the editing room both have been a stimulating and expansive process of rewriting. If cinema puts in place a double regime of representation: the discursive-narrative one, through which stories, characters, actions are represented; and the visual one, through which images of spaces, environments, faces and figures are created, I can affirm with certainty that in "Within" I was interested in using the visual one to ensure that spaces, faces, environments and figures were not only represented but combined, to merge and become something else - restoring the disturbing sense of infinity – in search of the sense of emptiness, which somewhere exists, even if you don't understand it, because you can't help thinking about it.

Godard once said: "He who jumps into the void owes no explanation to those who stand and watch". This is also the real reason why I decided to make cinema: to jump into the void, to build thresholds and perimeter spaces. But only to verify their tightness, their necessity, and then violate them.

- Matteo Ciotola