Community Affiliate

Giovanni Princigalli is a filmmaker, historian and activist. He was born in Bari on August 24, 1968. He moved to Montreal in 2003. He holds Italian and Canadian citizenship.

He holds a degree in political science, majoring in social history, with a thesis directed by sociologist Franco Cassano. Cassano supervised his first film, the documentary “Japigia Gagi”, shot while living for a year in a Romanian Roma community on the outskirts of Bari. He went on to study documentary cinema with Carlo Alberto Pinelli, anthropological cinema with Annie Comolli and screenwriting with Giuseppe Piccioni and Umberto Contarello. He also holds a master’s degree in film studies from the Université de Montréal. His dissertation, directed by Silvestra Mariniello, was entitled “Enchantments and Disenchantments of the Fragile Hero”, which aptly reflects the main themes of his films.

Among these are the medium-length documentaries Japigia Gagi (presented at several ethnographic and documentary film festivals), J’ai fait mon propre courage (about Italian emigration to Montreal) and Les fleurs à la fenêtre (shot in Cameroon and shown at several African film festivals around the world).

All this has earned him a place of choice in the most recent currents of anthropological cinema, cinema about the Roma and the Italian diaspora. Common themes include the status of women, emigration, love, the relationship between fantasy and reality, and the heroism of everyday life.
As for his interest in history, he has written articles on the political activities of his aunt Anna Maria and his father Giacomo, on Italian emigration to Montreal, on the Roma and Porajmos, and on socialism.