A Study on behaviour, sequences of performangst

Performangst is a film that explores the feeling of anxiety and how we deal with it in social contexts. Essentially it is ‘how we feel’ vs ‘how we act’ and to what degree we perform to hide how we actually feel. We have taken the example of a day in an actor’s life but this can apply to anyone.

“A STUDY ON BEHAVIOUR, sequences of performangst” is now an award winner at December 2019 Independent Shorts Awards, in Los Angeles and Cinema of the world in Mumbai as best experimental work, best director and best actress.
It is finalist of the New York Cinematography AWARDS, Indie Short Fest and Feel The Reel International Film Festival.
It is semi-finalist at Los Angeles Cinematography Awards in Los Angeles and part of the official selection of Košice International Monthly Film Festival.

Directed by Mara Palena
Starring Jessamine-Bliss Bell

Written by Jessamine-Bliss Bell
Styling Claudia Cerasuolo
Grooming Bianca Bagnoli
Sound Post Benzene Hugo Escuriol

Problem Play

FILM Mini-dv and digital camera, colour, sound, 02′:33”, 2019

Il lavoro si può visionare presso Nowhere gallery, Milano durante la mostra collettiva 
AMBIENTE °: LA MISURA curata da Orio Vergani
Negli studi di Shakespeare, i drammi problematici sono tre drammi che William Shakespeare scrisse tra la fine del 1590 e i primi anni del diciassettesimo secolo: All’s Well That Ends Well, Measure for Measure, Troilus e Cressida.
Misura per misura affronta diversi temi, contrapposti, come la lussuria e la devozione, altruismo ed egoismo, pietà e rabbia, politica ed etica e, infine, giustizia e compassione.
Invece di suscitare semplice gioia o dolore, provocano anche stupore, smarrimento e perplessità, sono note per avere elementi appartenenti alla commedia e alla tragedia.
Ispirato da questa forma di componimento teatrale, il lavoro mette in evidenza il subconscio e gli elementi presenti e non nella coscienza, mostrando ricordi e suggestioni alternanti e contrastanti.
Il lavoro sottolinea la percezione del mondo attraverso la misura a livello subconscio e inconscio.

My answer is a lie. The truest lie of all.
FILM Minidv, bw, sound,08:04 min
Is liberation a real option? When we look at ourselves in the mirror, we cannot be sure of what we are looking at. Society, friends, a relationship, everyone around us helped us define who we are. We intend to find out what happens when we remove that construct. Eight fragments introduce eight individuals. Their look, expressions, and words tell us a story, while free frames make it more real and authentic. Or not. The words we read first arise a final question in the end. What if the only way to reach some kind of liberation is telling a lie?
Words Alessandro Q. Ferrari

The film has been made in collaboration with PYLOT Magazine.


Hair Matt Mullhall at Streeters
Makeup Jenny Coombs at Streeters
Archive footage Prelinger Archive
Starring Ben Dufort, George Sagar, Lincoln Barrett, Matthieu,Maria Edmée Di Sambuy, Nicco Torelli, Sarah Benmerrah, and Sofia Lai
Sound Carlotta Menozzi thanks to Matteo Pennesi, Bellissimo by Doug Maxwell, Für Elise and Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven
Photography Assistant Luca Trevisani
Makeup Assistant Siobhan Ashman
Hair Assistant Vimal Chavda

FILM Minidv, bw, sound, 06’ 28″, 2018
 ‘Exploring the differences in behavior of a public environment versus a private one, following the time frame of a day. The idea is that the subject’s way of completing a daily activity is influenced, in our very socially structured society, by the presence of others, or lack there of. This is emphasized by her being clothed/naked. Culminating in a dream like sequence where the subconscious takes over and privacy and exposure become one.’
The film has been made in collaboration with PYLOT Magazine.

Starring Jessamine-Bliss Bell, Styling Patricia Villirillo, Grooming Camilla Romagnoli, Music Frédéric Chopin – Prelude in E-Minor (op.28 no. 4), Stylist assistant Gilberto Genco, Location FIORI ARTIFICIALI, Milano

DIALOGO – serie di racconti privati
FILM Minidv, color & bw, sound, 01’ 51″, 2017
The film, made for Document Journal, explores the city of Milan through collective memory and ordinary life.

Styling Patricia Villirillo, Starring Greta Mariotti, Guenda Mariotti, Giulia Zubiolo, Roberta Netto, Umberto Sannino, Mirco Varon, Riccardo Ferrari, Lupo Gelsi, Sound Carlotta Menozzi, Make up Camilla Romagnoli, Hair Gianmarco Grazi at Atomo, Casting & Production Hotelproduction, Styling assistant Marco Drammis, Casting assistant Alma Uggeri


sequences of disrupted intimacy
Contemporary Dance, Minidv, color, sound, 05’ 26″, 2018
The video shows dancers performing a choreography of Tiziana Cona in various locations in the city of Milan. Cona’s dance piece is a celebration of life, it explores the theme of relationships and interpersonal ties between humans. Its about ambivalence as a state of having simultaneous conflicting reactions, beliefs, or feelings towards someone or life. Despite the pain, ideals and values are always worth fighting for. The performance shows a warrior spirit in a continuous research and a struggle against stereotypes in order to understand the complexities of human nature and its passions. It’s about gestures, fulfillment, sorrow, time, union. A moment where everything is suspended. A moment of affirmation, testimony, satisfaction and absence, where desires  never cease to exist.

Performed by Paola Amoruso, Federica Brusati, Alessia Gualla, Rebecca Liopi, Gaia Longeri, Sofia Stempfel, Scilla Zizifo, Choreographed by Tiziana Cona, Music composed by Pietro Basso, Words and narration by Jessamine-Bliss Bell, Styled by Claudia Cerasuolo, Photographic assistant Roberta Troilo, Location FIORIARTIFICIALI, Milano


“I believe that the majority of what we think and feel goes unspoken. All of us have thought of the moment when a relationship might veer off the well-thrashed track, and into the unknown. In fact, a lot of individuals in marriages apparently fantasize about the idea of their partners dying. Why? Because they want to be alone for a bit – the very act of being in love, being in a relationship, of giving 50% of yourself up to someone else, can be stifling. But it’s also the most rewarding feeling. My poems here look at the assemblage remains of relationships. Of what you remember, of strangers, of the secrets we keep. And it’s about that tiny moment, that intimate moment when everything hangs waiting.” MAX WALLIS

Four short films for the ‘Do Or Die’ issue of PYLOT Magazine

Poetry, Minidv, color, sound, 01’ 48″, 2017
Featuring Théo Cholbi
Poetry, Minidv, color, sound, 01’ 51″, 2017
Featuring Agathe Bonitzer
Poetry, Minidv, color, sound, 01’ 42″, 2017
Featuring Pauline Étienne
Poetry, Minidv, color, sound, 02’ 52″, 2017
Featuring Félix Kysyl

Creative Direction and Styling by Patricia Villrillo

Makeup by Kana Nagashima

Hair by Akemi Kishida

Photographic Assistant Roberta Troilo

Styling Assisants Sofia Lai, Gilberto Genco

Music judA

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Documentary, Minidv, color, sound, 1’ 34″, 2017
 1915-1999 vede protagonista la città e le sue architetture luminose con 1915-1999, a cavallo tra passato e presente ci ricorda una città ormai scomparsa, quella colorata e scintillante delle scritte al neon che tra il 1915 e il 1999 hanno illuminato piazza del Duomo facendo capolino da Palazzo Carminati. Indaga la Milano notturna tentando di riportare in vita quello stupore che lo sfavillio delle luminarie suscitavano in chi visitava e viveva la città.

Documentary, Minidv, color, sound, 3’ 64″, 2017
Pulcinella is an eighteenth-century story of love, revenge, truth and magic. Stravinsky developed this story into a ballet that premiered in 1920 and it has been reimagined by dance companies all over the world ever since. MM Contemporary Dance Company is one such company taking on this powerful tale.
on PYLOT Magazine a film made by Lino + Mara Palena.