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DAVID BATTISTELLA – Producer•Writer•Director
Award Winning Director
Screenwriter, Story editor, Columnist
Thousands of hours in the edit room.
“Every life is an archive. Each frame is a documentary.
That’s just how I see things.”
Filmmaker Davide Battistella moved to Florence, Italy inspired by the life of architect Filippo Brunelleschi. From this ancient city he creates documentaries broadly exploring the themes of people, their daily work and creative life. His film, The Innocents of Florence, initially following an art conservation blossomed into a story about about art, humanism, women’s and children’s history. He is a writer and two time Ted speaker in English and Italian.
Davide refers to himself as a zero-kilometer, neighborhood filmmaker and creates intimate relationships with Florentines to tell the stories hidden in this fascinating city. The son of Italian immigrants to Canada, his journey has led him back to Italy to explore his Italian heritage and roots.
David or Davide? David’s Italian birth name is Davide (daa-vee-day) and this is the name he has reclaimed since returning to Italy. You can still call him David if you like.
NICE THINGS PEOPLE HAVE SAID ABOUT DAVID’S WORK
SUSAN REISLER Former documentary Journalist and Producer with CBC Television and now a VP at the public relations firm Media Profile
“David is one of the most sensitive and creative people I have worked with. Whether it was shooting video, or editing, David had great ideas for telling the story. And, he always had the latest best equipment to work with. He understood what we were doing from all perspectives and his input always made our work better.”
GERRY FLAHIVE Producer: National Film Board of Canada
“David Battistella is an award-winning filmmaker who has had a long and fruitful relationship with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB). The NFB is an internationally-respected Canadian film institution created in 1939. It has produced over 13,000 films which have won over 5000 awards.
David is a seasoned filmmaker who places an emphasis on craft. I am pleased to recommend him as an extraordinary creative collaborator.”
CORRADO SILVERI Owner E-motion Genoa
“David is, and actually acts as, a real gentleman. Like a gentleman from the last century, with the honour, the compliance with rules and the respect of the efforts of the crew.
He’s a creative mind of the last century with a technical knowledge of this very time.
His skills as cinematographer are awesome too.
So, you guessed it, I really can’t say more positive words about David.”
GEORGE TATGE Photographer
“David’s films are technically impeccable, but more importantly, they project the passion he infuses them with. He will not choose a subject that does not touch him in an intimate way. And the piecing together of the parts is done with tender loving care. He is a very intelligent, sensitive and gentle man. Working with him was as simple as sitting at a bar with a couple of beers in hand. In fact, he has become a good friend and we hit the bars as much as possible.”
LEWIS BAUMANDER Founder Lewis Baumander Acting School, Toronto
“David has spent hundreds of hours honing his acting skills in my classes and many more refining his skills as a director witnessing other actors work through ongoing scene study and on camera class training.
As a student David regularly attended evening classes and often showed a strong commitment to working toward his goals of being present to the material and his colleagues. As a scene partner David demonstrated a willingness to improve his skill and is generous to his fellow actors.”
CHRISTINA POCHMURSKY Award Winning Filmmaker
“David worked as an editor on one of my award winning documentaries. He brought passion, precision, intelligence, craft, and intensity to every every moment of the project. He’s a talented story-teller, who also knows how to use imagery and digital technology like a master : with reverence for the past combined with a shrewd understanding of future trends.”
GREG TWINNEY CFO, HOOTSUITE
“I’ve known David since before he made the bold move to Italy to change his life around a pursue what made him curious. I appreciate anyone who works hard toward even seemingly impossible goals because I’ve set high standards my whole career. David and I are in different fields, but I recognize his drive and commitment are universal themes needed to achieve any dream or desire of any magnitude.”
MICHAEL GRIPPO CSC Cinematographer
“David is a talented and passionate media professional!”
ANN TAIT Executive Producer: Iron Road
“David creates visual poetry through his haunting images and the powerful rhythms of his editing.”
FILM THE WORLD AROUND YOU
David Battistella – Resident Filmmaker
I am a huge believer in making films right where you live. When I lived in the great Toronto Junction, I made films with and about the places and people around me. I can travel great distances to make films and I still do, but I believe that a filmmaker, especially anyone who considers themselves a documentary filmmaker, needs to absolutely explore the miles immediately around where they live.
Only you can really tell the story about the place you live in, day in and day out. Knowing your surroundings and filming and documenting the people and places around you is an essential way to communicate the intricate nature of community. Community is more about geography now than it has ever been as a wave of global monoculture dispalces the natural flow of the living spaces where humans gather.
THE DOCUMENTARY FILMS
THE INNOCENTS OF FLORENCE
The Quest to Save 600,000 Children
When art restorers in Florence begin work on a 600 year old painting they lead the journey to uncover the story of the city’s forgotten children, and the women who saved them.
It’s 1410 and there is a huge social problem in Florence. Babies are being abandoned and dying at an alarming rate. To solve the problem Florence’s humanists organise and build a hospice for babies and young mothers.
Flash forward 600 years. Two women, an American and an Italian, are tasked with the restoration of the work due to be displayed after the renovation and reopening of the museum.
GEORGE TATGE : LIGHT & COLOR
After 35 years of loading Black and white film into his wooden camera, photographer George Tatge makes a dramatic shift to color and the results of his first show are a delectable treat to the eye.
In March 2019, just prior to the present situation filmmaker David Battistella visited Palazzo Fabroni and took in George tatage’s color work for the first time.
David managed to interview George Tatge again after seeing this show of his Color photography. This film was completed while in Lockdown, then after the complete lockdown of Italy scenes were filmed in other parts of Tuscany.
LIGHT & SILVER
The Photographic Life of George Tatge
This film began with a simple concept. David was expecting delivery of the RED EPIC MX camera, a 5K dynamo that had just been used to film a Spiderman movie. He was about to receive this digital marvel and wanted the first film he made with this new digital tool to honor the process of chemical film. David met photographer George Tatge and after a great lunch at his home they set out to make a documentary about how he makes photographs, one large film negative at a time with his view camera.
The Hockey in All of Us
The best game you can name. When David Battistella set out to make a film about hockey in a hockey mad country, it ended up winning an international award because the jury had finally come to understand how much this game is embedded in the Canadian way of live and in the cultural attitudes and values that Canadians experience through the informal game of Shinny hockey.
Battistella filmed incredible games set in the Canadian landscape and bringing the warmth of the Canadian should to life on the screen.
From the Arctic Circle to each coast one game unites Canadians and their love for the country and their winter season. Pictured here, the rink Davide grew up playing shinny on.
LA SANTA PASQUA 2020
Narratore Luciano Artusi
This film was created while Italy was in total lockdown in 2020 cancelling this celebration for the first time since world war II.
The film was created by Davide Battistella and co-written with the presenter Luciano Artusi a folklore historian and author in Florence , Italy.
Luciano is largley responsible for researching and returning many Florentine tradition recreated from past practices.
LIGHT & SPIRIT
The Spiritual Life of Don Alessandro Pacchia
Luce e Spirito explores the working life of Don Alessandro Pacchia, an 83 year old priest at the Basilica of Florence, made famous by Brunelleschi’s Cupola. The film traces his 47 years as a simple priest who’s work as Sacristan has never changed.
The film was captured by filmmaker David Battistella over a period of 15 months with unprecedented access to Don Alessandro’s personal and working life.
Don Alessandro has a unique job in a unique place, with a unique perspective and his career has helped form his worldly point of view.
Bryan Adams is one of world’s most enduringly popular singer/songwriters. He is most at home in his Vancouver studio, surrounded by his collection of vintage microphones and guitars.
Adams calls it “a very analog space in a very digital world.” In this short documentary, we witness an intimate rendition of his song “One World, One Flame” and hear him speak of his audience-centred approach to performance: “I want it to be fun, I want it to be real.”
The Tragically Hip
In this short documentary about The Tragically Hip, director David Battistella uses a split-screen and acid-etched colours to distil the iconic Canadian band’s essence. After decades together, through hotels, highways, gigs and recording sessions, The Hip’s members have forged a powerful brotherhood. “These guys are my life partners, musically” says bass guitarist Gord Sinclair.
The Hip’s brand of straight-ahead rock and roll has catapulted the band to international stardom, and ensured them a place in Canadian musical history, but at heart, they remain a bunch of guys from Kingston, Ontario, making music together just for fun.
Over 1.6 Million views on Vimeo
Calcio Storico is a game that has been played in Firenze, Italia for centuries. Four teams; RED, WHITE, BLUE and GREEN, representing different parts of the city; punch, kick, run and scrape their way toward victory in a round robin tournament. The tournament resumes next June!
A mix, of rugby, soccer, american football, boxing, MMA and Greco Roman wrestling, CALCIO STORICO FIORENTINO is by for the most exciting sporting event I have ever witnessed live.
The whole film was done in Version 1 of FCP X one day after it was publically released.
HAND MADE MONEY
Il Fiorino d’Oro
Need some money? This film demonstrates historical techniques used to hand hammer money in 13th century Florence. The Florentine goldsmith who appears in the film is Paolo Penko. He still uses the technique to make handmade 24 carat gold Florins. Each coin contains more than three grams of solid gold.
It’s a Florentine tradition to give a Florin to a newborn baby as a keepsake, good luck piece and symbol to build for the future.
The phrase, “One gold Florin today for many in the future.” is often used to accompany the tradition.