Stefano Bessoni, Italian filmmaker, illustrator, stop-motion animator working on “Gallows Songs” (2014)
|Occupation||Filmmaker, Stop-motion animator, Illustrator|
Life and career
Stefano Bessoni was born in Rome in 1965. He studied visual arts under the teaching of the Neapolitan engraver Mario Scarpati. After a detour in zoology and natural sciences, he left the Faculty of Biology and later graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome.
Since 1989 he has been making many experimental films, video and theatre installations and documentary films. In the 1990s he worked for many TV production companies as camera operator, cinematographer and film editor. From 1998 to 2001 he also collaborated with the Italian director Pupi Avati as assistant, storyboard artist and digital effect artist.
In 1995, he was awarded the “Claudio Pastori” Prize by the Italian FEDIC, for his work as a filmmaker, “for the consistency of his commitment, the peculiarity of his research, the culture and the passion expressed through his work and in the in-depth analysis of the relationships between cinema, painting, history, and popular traditions and beliefs.”
Besides working as a filmmaker and stop-motion animator, Stefano is also active as a teacher, both in Italy and abroad. From 2000 to 2007 he taught direction at the NUCT (Roma Film Academy) in Cinecittà, Rome. From 2010 to 2013 he held lectures at the Griffith Academy in Rome.
He has held many workshops on illustration and stop-motion animation at schools and festivals such as: Ars in Fabula (Macerata, Italy), Giffoni Film Festival (Salerno, Italy), Future Film Festival (Bologna, Italy), Bologna Children’s Book Fair – Expopixel (Bologna, Italy), Fantaspoa (Porto Alegre, Brazil), Estación Diseño (Granada, Spain). The book Stop-motion. La fabbrica delle meraviglie (Stop Motion. The Marvel Factory, 2014), with a preface by Barry J.C. Purves was born out of his long-time experience as a teacher and as a stop-motion animator.
“Enchanted by the imaginary dimension of fairy tales” and “fascinated by anything gruesome and disturbing, ominous or deadly”, he has also published many illustrated books inspired by the world of Wunderkammern, old fairy tales and macabre rhymes, among which Homunculus (2011), Wunderkammer (2011), Alice Underground (2012), Gallows Songs (2013) and Pinocchio (2014).
He currently coordinates the undergraduate course in Illustration and Animation at the IED in Rome.
- 2011 Krokodyle
- 2009 Imago Mortis
- 2005 Frammenti di scienze inesatte
- 2001 The Knights of the Quest (directed by Pupi Avati) (storyboard artist)
- 1999 La via degli angeli (directed by Pupi Avati) (sketch artist)
Medium-length films – Short films – Documentaries
- 2013 Gallows Songs
- 2002 Kokocinski
- 2000 Il catturatore
- 1998 Galgenlieder. Canti patibolari
- 1997 Pinocchio apocrifo. Storia di un burattino in dieci quadri
- 1996 Asterione
- 1995 Grimm e il teatro della crudeltà
- 1994 Totentanz
- 1993 Gregor Samsa
- 1993 Tulp
- 1992 Il principe delle ombre. Ritratto di Mario Scarpati
- 1991 La favola del bambino mai nato
- Homunculus, Modena: #logosedizioni (2011)
- Wunderkammer, Modena: #logosedizioni (2011)
- Alice Under Ground, Modena: #logosedizioni (2012)
- Gallows Songs, Modena: #logosedizioni (2013)
- Pinocchio, Modena: #logosedizioni (2014)
- Mr Punch, Modena: #logosedizioni (2015)
- Stop-motion, The Marvel Factory, Modena: #logosedizioni (2015)
- Stop-motion Workshop. First Level, Modena: #logosedizioni (2016)
- Stop-motion Workshop. Second Level: The Puppet, Modena: #logosedizioni (2016)
- Rachel, Series Le scienze inesatte, Modena: #logosedizioni (2017)
- Rebecca, Series Le scienze inesatte, Modena: #logosedizioni (2018)
- Giona, Series Le scienze inesatte, Modena: #logosedizioni (2018)
- Theo, Series Le scienze inesatte, Modena: #logosedizioni (2019)
Prizes and Awards (selection)
- 2013 Gallows Songs: Grant from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a “film of national cultural interest” 
- 2011 Krokodyle: Silver Méliès Special Mention at the Sitges – Festival Internacional de Cinema Fantàstic de Catalunya, Spain; Best International Film at the Puerto Rico Horror Fest, Puerto Rico, USA; Best Fantasy Film at the São Paulo CineFantasy, Brazil
- 2006 Imago Mortis: Grant of 500.000 euros for the film’s production by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities as a “film of national cultural interest”
- 2006 Frammenti di scienze inesatte: Best Feature Film at the Fano International Film Festival; Young Jury Award at the Valdarno Cinema Fedic, San Giovanni Valdarno
- Bessoni, Stefano, Homunculus, Logos edizioni, Modena, 2011, p.47, ISBN 978-88-576-0065-9
- "DOC. LVI N. 2, Italian Chambers of Deputies" (PDF). Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Palmarés 2011: Red State, mejor película". 15 October 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Puerto Rico Horror Film Fest 2011". Archived from the original on 9 February 2015. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "Elenco film riconosciuti di interesse culturale nazionale dal 2006 al 2009". Archived from the original on 2011-12-22. Retrieved 25 February 2015.
- "2006, I premi". Retrieved 25 February 2015.