Archive of films La Pivellina / La Pivellina

Austria / Italy
2009, 100 min

Section: Open Eyes
Year: 2009

While out looking for her errant dog, 50-year-old circus artist Patty finds an abandoned two-year-old girl in the trailer park. In the pocket of the little girl’s pink suit is a note from her mother promising that she’ll be back soon... The feature film debut by the documentary filmmaking duo, which won the Label Europa Cinemas Award as Best European Film in this year’s Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes.


Patty, a 50-year-old circus performer, lives with her husband in a trailer on the outskirts of Rome. While out looking for her errant dog, she finds a two-year-old girl named Asia with a note from her mother saying that she’ll soon return. Aided by teenager Tairo, who moved into his grandmother’s neighboring trailer after his parents abandoned him when he was three, Patty takes the girl in and begins to look for her mother. She herself is surviving the best she can with her husband and her animals. Nevertheless, this world, with its wasted lives, its "gated community” behind a corrugated iron fence, and constant police patrols, represents a warm human family that Asia doesn’t want to give up.... The movie, about the intriguing world of the disinherited in contemporary Italy, picked up the Europa Cinemas Label Award for Best European Film in the Directors’ Fortnight section at the 62nd Cannes IFF. The jury appreciated the film’s "big heart and its broadminded, unostentatious, and optimistic look at those living on the fringes of society,” as well as the veracity which the creators’ experience with documentaries allowed them. The performances, by actors using their real names, also contributed to the movie’s power.

About the director

Tizza Covi (b. 1971, Bolzano) lived in Paris and Berlin before studying photography at the Graphische Lehranstalt in Vienna. After finishing her studies, she moved to Rome where she worked as a photographer. Rainer Frimmel (b. 1971, Vienna) graduated in photography from the same school, and received scholarships in Rome, Paris, and New York. In 2002 he and Covi founded the independent production company Vento Film. Shared filmography: the feature-length doc That’s All (2001), and Babooska (2005), describing circus performers in Italy and their daily struggle for survival. The movie took 8 awards, including the Wolfgang-Staudte-Award at the Berlinale, Best Austrian Documentary at Diagonale, Graz, and Best Italian Documentary at the Festival dei Popoli, Florence. La Pivellina (2009) is their first feature, for which Covi took up writing and editing duties and Frimmel participated as cameraman and producer.


5 rue Nicolas Flamel, 75004, Paris
Tel: +33 153 103 399
Fax: +33 153 103 398
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Open Eyes
Director: Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel
Screenplay: Tizza Covi
Dir. of Photography: Rainer Frimmel
Editor: Tizza Covi
Producer: Rainer Frimmel
Production: Vento Film
Cast: Patrizia Gerardi, Walter Saabel, Asia Crippa, Tairo Coroli
Contact: Playtime


Tizza Covi

Film Director

Rainer Frimmel

Film Director

Martin Schweighofer

Film Institution Rep.


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