Italian-Romanian feature documentary Sindrome Italia wins two awards at Biografilm Festival in Bologna

Italian-Romanian feature documentary Sindrome Italia wins two awards at Biografilm Festival in Bologna
Bloom Media House presented its first feature documentary, Sindrome Italia, at the 20th edition of the Biografilm Festival in Bologna (June 7-17), which won two awards as TOP DOC and The Hera Special Mention "New Talents” for first time director Ettore Mengozzi. The story brings to light an important medical social phenomenon, a cry for help about the plight of caregivers from Eastern Europe. The narrative delves into the complexity of Sindrome Italia, a condition, overlooked by the media, that affects foreign caregivers, directly resulting from their harsh living and working conditions in Italy. Many women are forced to leave their countries, their homes, and their families, in search for work to secure a better future for their children, who are often left in the care of grandparents or alone. Many of these women become caregivers for our elderly. The documentary also explores the challenges of cultural integration between Italy and Eastern Europe, highlighting the profound impact on these women and their families.

During the ceremony of the awards, which were held on Sunday, June 16th, Sindrome Italia won the TOP DOC distribution award – The Beauty of Documentary, presented by the jury composed of content creators Attilio Palmieri, Giulia Quintabà, and Matilde Santantonio for the best film in the Biografilm Italia competition - “We chose to award 'Sindrome Italia' because the jury, first and foremost, discovered the significance of the chosen theme: women from Eastern Europe who have emigrated to Italy to work as caregivers, sharing a psychophysical disorder caused by working conditions and life away from their families.” Ettore Mengozzi (the director) won the Hera Special Mention "New Talents" because “It's important that for a debut film, the director has chosen to explore the little-known theme of caregivers in Italy and to show the sacrifice of those who give up their loved ones to work for other families. The film is an intimate and delicate topic of the personal stories of two women, very different from each other, but united by the same drama."

SYNOPSIS: In 2005, two Ukrainian psychiatrists began observing recurring symptoms of psychological distress in many women from Eastern Europe returning from Italy: insomnia, anxiety, depression, panic attacks, and in severe cases, hallucinations and suicidal tendencies. These women had one common characteristic: they all worked as caregivers. The two psychiatrists named this condition Italia Syndrome. The documentary follows the lives of Corina, a woman affected by this syndrome after years of work in Italy, who is slowly trying to rebuild her life after much suffering, and Natalia, a woman currently enduring the harsh working conditions as a caregiver in Italy: isolated, thousands of kilometers away from her children, alone. Two women reflecting each other continuously, struggling with all their might for a different future.

Sindrome Italia (1x65’) is directed by Ettore Mengozzi, with Giacomo Betti as Director of Photography. It is a co-production by Bloom Media House (Italy) and East Movies (Romania), supported by MIC (Italian Ministry of Culture), the Emilia Romagna Film Commission, and the Italian Cultural Institute in Bucharest. Producers: Marco Chiappa and Francesca Cimolai (Bloom Media House). Sindrome Italia was selected for the BIO TO B (BIOGRAFILM) Pitch 2022 and the Balkan Documentary Center Discovery Workshop 2022.