Venezuela | UK | Italy | USA
105 min
HD video, 5.1 stereo, color

A father and son return to the Amazon jungle to shoot a deeply personal film. 
Fiction and reality clash as father plays himself.

Camera & Direction by Mo Scarpelli
Produced by Manon Ardisson, Rodrigo Michelangeli
Featuring Jorge Roque Thielen, Jorge Thielen Armand
Edited by Juan Soto Taborda
Sound Design by Roberta Ainstein

Produced by Ardimages UK, La Faena Films, Rake Films 
in association with Channel6 Media, Feverfilm & Tres CinematografÍa

The intention of my films is to linger, to study faces and reactions, and ultimately, to allow people to betray their own or others’ versions of themselves. Every man is a contradiction; some of us are ready to see, and ask why. Father is this way. EL FATHER PLAYS HIMSELF is the process of watching a father be seen, finally, by his son, and in a totally different way be seen by me; his daughter-in-law, a woman, his friend. I leave much to be interpreted in what is “right” or “wrong” about this particular process of representation. What I do hope to impart is my solidarity with the human being, a camera’s validity of their fear of the world and their place within it. The root of all shades of machismo is fear. The root of family is love. EL FATHER PLAYS HIMSELF is this fear and love colliding.


+ 51° Visions du Réel - Special Mention for Best International Feature
+ IDFA - Best of Festivals Selection
+ 24° Festival de Málaga - Silver Biznaga Award for Best Direction
+ Festival de la Crítica Cinematográfica de Caracas - Best Direction Prize, Special Jury Prize
+ 37° Festival de Cine de Bogotá - Best Documentary on Art Award
+ 60° Krakow Film Festival
+ 42° Cairo International Film Festival
+ Dokufest Kosovo
+ 17° Santiago Festival Internacional de Cine (SANFIC)
+ Transcinema Peru
+ 29° Festival Biarritz Amérique Latine
+ 42° Durban International Film Festival
+ 17° Festival de Cine Venezolano (VZ) - Best Cinematography Award, Best Director of Photography Award
+ Perso Film Festival (IT) - Special Mention for Perso Award
+ 22° Lucania Film Festival (Italy) - Special Mention for Best Feature Film
+ Garden Route Intl Film Festival (South Africa) - Best Direction Prize, Best Actor/Character Prize (Jorge Thielen Armand)
+ Maryland Film Festival (US)
+ Golden Apricot Yerevan International Film Festival (Armenia)
+ Cucalorus Film Festival (US) - Opening Night Film
+ Festival de cinéma de la ville de Québec
+ Festival Internacional de Cine y Memoria Común de Nador (Morocco)
+ Santa Fe Independent Film Festival (US)
+ Mammoth Lakes Film Festival (US)
+ Atlanta Film Festival (US)
+ Cinéfest Sudbury (Canada)
+ Detroit Freep Film Festival (US)
+ San Francisco IndieFest (US)
+ Institute for Contemporary Arts (ICA), London
+ Barbican Cinema, London
+ Museo de Arte Moderna de Medellín, Colombia
+ Cinemateca de Bogotá, Colombia
+ Glasgow Film Centre, Scotland
+ HOME Cinema, Manchester, UK

* awarded the Torino Film Lab Audience Design Fund 2020
* nominated for the Doc Alliance Selection Award by Visions du Réel 2020

Press + more about the film here.
Watch the film here.

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