by Paolo Zucca
Country: Italy
Year: 2023
Duration: 105'

Maria is a young girl from Nazareth. As a woman, everything is forbidden for her, even learning how to read and write. But she dreams of freedom and wisdom. In the synagogue, she gets excited about the stories from the Bible, just like Don Quixote with adventure novels. From the audacity of the prophets, she has learned disobedience, dreaming of escaping on a donkey and discovering the world. She finds in Joseph a teacher and a confidant. Their marriage is chaste, a screen, while he secretly educates her, preparing her for escape. But here comes an unexpected obstacle: Maria and Joseph fall in love. They are about to give in to passion when the angel of the annunciation ruins everything. God’s plan and Maria’s plan do not coincide at all.


film director

Paolo Zucca

(Cagliari, Italy, 1972) After earning a degree in Modern Literature in Florence, he attended the RAI school for film and television scriptwriters. He graduated in Directing from N.U.C.T. at Cinecittà, and his final course thesis, Banana Rossa, was a finalist at the Young Director Award in Cannes and the Globo d’Oro della Stampa Estera in Italy. In 2009, the short film L’arbitro won the David di Donatello and the Special Jury Prize at Clermont-Ferrand. In 2013, it was adapted into a feature film that opened the Giornate degli Autori in Venice and participated in major international festivals, winning numerous awards, including the Audience Award at Montpellier and the Best Director award in Bari. In 2018, L’uomo che comprò la luna premiered at Busan and in Rome. The film received numerous accolades, including the Flaiano Prize and a Silver Ribbon to Stefano Fresi for Best Actor in a Comedy. In 2023, he directed Vangelo secondo Maria, based on the novel of the same name by Barbara Alberti.


L’arbitro (cm, 2009), Cuore di clown (cm, 2011), Bella di notte (cm, 2013), L’arbitro (2013), I giganti (1 ep, serie tv, 2015), L’uomo che comprò la luna (2018), Vangelo secondo Maria (2023).


film director

“My film can be defined as a coming-of-age novel, even though the thematic core of the story goes well beyond the account of the inner growth of its protagonist, calling into play elements of extraordinary complexity, such as philosophical, political, and moral components, including free will, original sin, the power of knowledge, patriarchy, and women’s self-determination. However, if I were to identify the pulsating heart of this cinematic tale – which, in the long journey from the novel’s pages to the final editing revision, has undergone profound and fruitful transformations – I would say that above all, it is a love story. An asymmetric, fragile love that arises and evolves in unpredictable and unprecedented circumstances. A love so tenacious that it defies destiny, divine will, and death.”


& Credits

DIRECTOR: Paolo Zucca. STORY: from the novel of the same title by Barbara Alberti. SCREENPLAY: Paolo Zucca, Barbara Alberti. CINEMATOGRAPHY: Simone D’Arcangelo. EDITING: Marco Spoletini. PRODUCTION DESIGN: Luciano Cammerieri. COSTUME DESIGN: Beatrice Giannini. MUSIC: Fabio Massimo Capogrosso. SOUND: Stefano Campus. CAST: Benedetta Porcaroli, Alessandro Gassmann, Lidia Vitale, Leonardo Capuano, Andrea Pittorino, Giulio Pranno, Maurizio Lombardi, Fortunato Cerlino. PRODUCERS: Amedeo Pagani, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca Cima, Carlotta Calori, Viola Prestieri. PRODUCTION: La Luna, Indigo Film, Vision Distribution.

CONTACT: True Colors (Fabio Tucci) fabio@truecolors.it