BELEAF – Elena Zervopoulou – Italy

A VR 360 poetry film

Directed by Elena Zervopoulou
Poem & performance by Nilson Muniz
Text inserts (female voice), camera & editing: Elena Zervopoulou
VFX: Vincenzo Greco
Producers: Antonello Faretta, Adriana Bruno
Artistic directors: Antonello Faretta, Lello Voce, Paolo Heritier

Produced for Matera European Capital of Culture 2019 (world premiere), as an episode of MaTerre VR Experience
Produced by Rete Cinema Basilicata and Fondazione Matera 2019 in collaboration with Lucania Film Commission

Presented at Μakerfairerome

Available at RAI CINEMA VR App (download & search for BeLeaf)

A leaf loose in the wind, reminds us of our true nature. Far from civilization, a poet emerges from autumn leaves in a cave. As in Plato’s cave, after a state of “hibernation” in a world of illusions, he embodies man’s thought, the philosopher who seeks a different perspective, who sees the light. Out of the cave, he discovers the rebirth of nature and spring, reflecting his own rebirth… A brief experience of awakening and liberation to realign us with our essence. Standing on the edge of a cliff, pushed to our limits and out of our comfort zone, we are embracing trust of our true nature, “BeLeaf”. Change is possible when lifted by “BeLief”, enjoy the flight!

Director’s Biography – Elena Zervopoulou

Greek and French. As an ethno-psychologist (Masters in Clinical Cross-Cultural Psychology from the University of Paris 5), I was supporting immigrant families in Paris and refugee youth in South Italy. As a consultant at UNESCO, I have facilitated the socio-educational integration of street children in Madagascar. Holding a Masters in Documentary filmmaking and visual anthropology from Paris 10 University (trained by Jean Rouch’s team), I have written, directed, produced and filmed with my company One Vibe Films, creative documentaries for international broadcasters and for NGOs, mainly shot in remote areas of Southeast Asia, Europe and Africa. I founded Diversity United to empower vulnerable communities for a better inclusive world, using participatory artistic processes, such as Participatory Video workshops, interdisciplinary performances, media productions / campaigns and cultural events. Aspiring to accelerate social change, with my team we create interactive cross-media, as well as develop innovative digital platforms. Filmography:

Sea Gypsies joined the “Why Poverty?” series, led by BBC. It was covered by 69 broadcasters reaching over 200 countries worldwide.

Greece: Days of Change nominated by the Millennium International Documentary Festival, for the “Workers of the World” award (Belgium), and by Docs Barcelona for the “New Talent” award (Spain). Screened in 60 cinemas around Spain, as “Documental del mez”, in other cinemas across Europe with “Moving Docs”, and broadcasted prime time in 6 European countries.

Anti-bullism campaign, cross-media interactive educational tool (idea-design, multiple end scenarios, direction, production) for the EU. Officially used by the Greek Ministry of Education as well as in 6 other European countries.

Walking in light, a poetic video-dance performance inspired by Participatory Video (PV) workshops with young refugees hosted in shelters in South Italy.

BeLeaf VR 360, a virtual reality poetic film, part of MaTerre VR Experience, officially included in the cultural program of European Capital of Culture 2019, Matera, Italy. 

Voice Up, participatory video on human rights made with youth, supported by the Greek Ministry of Culture.


Director Statement

Shifting our perception to our common essence as human beings, we are reminded of the aspects of identity that unite us rather than divide us, of our connection with our earth and our interconnection among us and with everything that surrounds us. A path of awakening our consciousness, an invitation to elevation, to a high frequency vibration, to actively contribute in shaping our collective present and future, to take “common unique action”.

This awareness, empowered at a global level, could be catalytic to align common intention and direction of action, to bring positive change. The film, given its immersive aspect, attempts to offer an emotional experience of nature, of our common essence, aspiring to awaken our collective consciousness to the identity that unites us as a human community. A spring call for our hearts, our societies, our Mother Earth, My Earth – Ma Terre (in French).

Inspired by Plato’s cave _ similar to part of our current global dark reality _ we leave the world of repression, illusions and power hungry manipulative shadows, to come out to light, truth, collective consciousness and action. Along the way, we encounter narcissus by a river and echo on a cliff-top, embodied by the poet, who rediscovers the duality and multiplicity contained in the the “indivi-dual”. The idea behind the film flows from nature to human nature, from I to WE, to the awareness that the observer influences reality (as in quantum physics), thus empowering the potential to act responsibly as humans collectivity.

Orchestrated by the elements of nature, wind, water, earth, ether and accompanied by contrabass soundscapes embracing the poem, the film follows the poet in his journey of awakening. With the intent to give some new immersive sensations to accompany emotional states of inner elevation and going beyond one’s own limits to discover a new (even inner) vision, we occasionally take off and fly together with the camera. The viewer, rather than a passive observer, is invited to experience a rebirth and, as a result, to consciously, actively generate the reality that he dreams of. A few children completing a land art installation, as an offering to our earth, planting seeds for our future, letting secular trees grow, remind the viewer that he’s not alone in this path, and that a shared intention, direction and action may have an impact and change the course of things. The way to do it is up to the viewer. The answer is in the leaf , “BeLeaf” “BeLief”. You are born!

Poet Performer – Nilson Muniz

Α multidisciplinary artist, actor, singer and spoken word performer from Brazil. He transits between spoken word, song and vocal sounds. His work is about the multiplicity of poetry on scene (word, body and sound). He was proclaimed Poetry Slam Champion from Portugal in 2014, same year that he released his first EP: UMHOMEMDORMINDO. He has poems published in Portugal, Spain, Italy, Estonia and has been presenting with his performances and workshops at several festivals of performance, poetry, literature and theater in countries as Georgia, Finland, Estonia, Italy, Israel, Bulgaria, Germany, France, England, Sweden, Spain, Portugal and Brazil. One of the five international poet performers invited to take part in “MaTerre” – VR Experience – fully shot film in Matera (Italy), the European Capital of Culture 2019. He makes the stage his own alive book presenting himself on poetry solo performances besides take part on diverse creative partnerships and keep acting and singing in punctual projects.


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