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Leonardo Pirondi, Zazie Ray-Trapido 2023 11m

Available worldwide except the Netherlands, United States, Canada, Switzerland, Denmark, and Australia


In 1934 an experiment by an amateur-scientist couple began. Named after a genus of moths, the Automeris Project placed a group of young children in an enclosed forest, leaving them to fend for themselves. On return visits, the couple presented self-made films, accompanied by live music, depicting the outside world. For them, these images were the perfect replica of reality seen in their expeditions. Nevertheless, the films were carefully framed, edited, and manipulated to induce a transformation and provoke the development of a new society. This film revisits the remains of the Automeris Project and recreates one such film made using the few remaining assembly notes

About the director

Leonardo Pirondi

Leonardo Pirondi is a Brazilian filmmaker based in Los Angeles, Porto, and São Paulo. His films explore the infinite abyss between the multiple derived versions of reality through documentary, experimental, and narrative modes. Much of his work uses analog and digital manipulations on celluloid to examine the sociopolitical unfoldings of the intersections between imagination, science, myth, and technology. His films have been screened and discussed at various film festivals, institutions, and venues internationally, such as the IFFR, True/False, BFI London, Edinburgh, Ambulante, Curtas Vila do Conde IFF, Wexner Center, REDCAT, and others. Some of his work exists in the collection of Cinematheque of the Museum of Modern Art in Rio de Janeiro and The Film-Makers’ Cooperative in New York. He holds a Film/Video degree from CalArts, is a Sundance Ignite Fellow, and is the recipient of the Allan Sekula Social Documentary Fund and the Tim Disney Prize for Excellence in the Storytelling Arts.

His latest film, WHEN WE ENCOUNTER THE WORLD (2023), co-directed with Zazie Ray-Trapido, was selected for Curtas Vila do Conde IFF.

Zazie Ray-Trapido

Zazie Ray-Trapido is a filmmaker and producer from Philadelphia, based in Los Angeles and New York. Her experimental and documentary films create narrative vignettes of the quotidian and personal. Her films have screened at Curtas Vila do Conde IFF, REDCAT, Athens International Film and Video, Antimatter, Engauge, Bideodromo, San Diego Underground, The Clemente Center, and Mimesis. As a producer, her focus is on live-action and animation non-fiction. She is currently producing projects commissioned by Yale University, awarded Berlinale Talents, Big Sky Pitch, Claims Conference Grant, and Ikusmira Berriak Residency. Zazie has participated in the Sundance New Frontier Lab: Philadelphia, and received the CalArts Research and Practice Fellowship. She holds a degree in Theatre and Performing Arts from Bard College and a master’s in Film/Video from the California Institute of the Arts.

Her latest film, WHEN WE ENCOUNTER THE WORLD (2023), co-directed with Leonardo Pirondi, was selected for Curtas Vila do Conde IFF.




Portugal, USA

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