One Day on Earth

The World's Story is Yours to Tell

Alessandro De Toni - showreel from Alessandro De Toni on Vimeo.
Dear friends, fans, and participants,

One Day On Earth proudly presents our profile spotlight of filmmaker Alessandro De Toni. De Toni is an independent filmmaker and visual researcher and has been documenting consumption patterns, trends and lifestyle in China.

Who are you and what is your profession?
I work as a freelance visual researcher and independent filmmaker. I carry on visual research about consumption patterns, trends and lifestyle in China. Within a network of international correspondents I've been conducting several researches by means of ethnographic observation. I collect trend hints in China and I build audiovisual reports (still photos, video, music) regarding contemporary consumer culture.

Can you tell us a little about your background and upbringing?
I studied Communication and Cross-cultural Psychology at UCSC university in Milan and in the meantime I studied Mandarin on my own, spending almost one year in China. I've always been very interested in photography and visual research so after my master degree I tried to apply some observation techniques I had learned to cool-hunting photography in China for an Italian firm.

Afterward I thought it could be challenging to try using some videos in my work so I studied documentary-making for one year in Italy. My first short "A Ming", a little portrait of a Chinese illegal immigrant, was selected at several festivals so I decided to keep myself on the track of social and anthropological documentary.

What inspired you to be a filmmaker?
My fascination for contemporary China and its diverse identities brought me to extend my observation and switch from a pure photo approach to a video research that could be close to my everyday encounter with reality. I was fascinated by Chinese nouvelle vague as well as by many other European directors who have been telling stories in a documentary-like style, bringing on the screen small and usually unnoticed individual experiences. In my own small way, it's what I tried to do with "Beijing Taxi", my first long-feature about taxi drivers in the booming metropolis of Beijing. Of course I still have a long long way to go! :)

Who are your heros?
I don't really feel like I have my heros but of course there are plenty of personalities I strongly admire and who someway inspire my personal research, like Henry Miller, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Werner Herzog and last but not least my parents.

What do you feel you want to shoot on 10.10.10?
I'd like to shoot people and everyday life in an old city district. I'd like to explore how people, faces, gestures, everyday habits give shape to places and human communities.

Why is this important to you?
Being part of a worldwide project I feel that it's important to use images to portray local identities. I think it would be great if through this collective work we could build a mosaic of life across the world.

Name: Alessandro De Toni
Location: Beijing, China.

One Day On Earth would like to thank Alessandro De Toni for joining us on 10.10.10 to film his passions.

All the best,
The One Day On Earth Team

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