What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? (2018) is the first of three films in this festival from director Roberto Minervini; all three are set in the Southern U.S. and raise issues about race and class in 21st-century America.
This is the vivid story of a community of Black people in the American South during the summer of 2017 when brutal killings of young African-Americans shocked the country. “A portrait of collective resilience… but that description shortchanges its richness on both human and historical scales” (NY Times).
Born in Fermo, Italy, in 1970, Roberto Minervini obtained a degree in Economics and Commerce at the University of Ancona and a doctorate in History of Cinema at the University of Madrid. He moved to the United States in October 2000 to work as an IT consultant. In 2004, he completed a master’s degree in media studies at the New School. From 2006 to 2007, he taught at De La Salle University in Manila, Philippines.
Minervini began writing, directing, and producing films shortly after completing his master’s degree at the New School. Prior to producing full-length feature films, he made a number of shorts, including Voodoo Doll, Come to Daddy, Notes, and The Fireflies. 2011’s The Passage was a nominee for the Golden Zenith at the Montréal World Film Festival.
Low Tide, his 2012 film, showed at the Venice Film Festival, winning the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation Special Award and garnering a nomination for the Venice Horizons Award. His film Stop the Pounding Heart was included in the Official Selection of the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and has won numerous awards at other festivals, including the David di Donatello Award for Best Documentary.
The Other Side was shown in the Un Certain Regard section of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival 2015. At the 2018 Venice Film Festival, What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? was nominated for the Golden Lion award and won the Premio Vivere da Sportivi Award, the Fair Play Cinema Award, and the UNICEF Award.
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