Stefano Cipani

Italy, Spain, 2019 / 84 min / Italian OV with English, French & German subt. / Comedy, Family

European Film Academy – Young Audience Award 2020

Jack dotes on his younger brother Giò, whom he believes has superhero powers – but the truth about Giò is a little different, as Jack discovers during his difficult teenage years.

Jack always wanted a little brother to play with, and when Giò is born, he believes his parents’ tender lie that Giò is a superhero with amazing powers like the ones in his comic books. Over time, however, as Jack grows up, he realises that his brother has Down syndrome, a condition Jack decides to keep secret in school: When he falls in love with his classmate Arianna, he goes as far as hiding Giò's very existence from her and his new friends. But how can you expect someone to love you if you conceal such an important part of yourself? Jack can’t hide the truth forever and when it comes out, Jack learns that his brother Giò's energy, vitality and unique perspective are contagious and can indeed change the world – just like a superhero.

"Giacomo Mazzariol's novel made an enormous impression on me, and when I met Jack and Giò and their family, I realised I'd happened on something unique, a story that needed to be told. The Mazzariol family is remarkable: their temperament and resolve is an example for all, a lesson in humanity. The plot of the film revolves around an awful lie, appalling yet spontaneous. What I wanted was to bring the emotions and state of mind of a thirteen-year-old, Jack, to the screen, as he comes to grips with the disability of his long-desired little brother. The idea of a teenager who tries to escape the dread he feels and falls in love to escape his situation, creating a new identity – I find that fascinating, lyrical and universal." Director’s statement by Stefano Cipani


 “A joyful and touching ode to imperfection and diversity, based upon a true story – that of 22-year-old Giacomo Mazzariol and his “special” family, told by the young man himself in the successful book of the same name which has sold 300,000 copies to date – and falling somewhere between family movie and coming-of-age tale, the film was presented at the 16th edition of the Venice Film Festival’s Giornate degli Autori as a Special Event. […] the tone of the film happily captures the great light-heartedness of the book. […] young Francesco Gheghi embodies his character’s torment with genuine skill. It’s true, this is one of those films which you feel a bit better for seeing, because it centres around good intentions, but also because it also leaves room for mistakes and for weakness – not to mention a spot of meanness – subsequently transforming these into important opportunities for growth.” Vittoria Scarpa, Cineuropa, 03/09/2019

  • “Sorriso diverso” Award, Venice Film Festival – Giornate degli Autori, 2019 (Italy)
  • ECFA Jury Special Mention, Just Film Tallinn, 2019 (Estonia)
  • Best Producer in Film for Isabella Cocuzza, Premio Berenice, 2019 (Italy)
Cast & Credits
Alessandro Gassmann, Isabella Ragonese, Rossy de Palma, Francesco Gheghi, Gea Dall'Orto, Roberto Nocchi, Saul Nanni, Lorenzo Sisto, Edoardo Pagliai, Gabriele Scopel, Arianna Becheroni
Fabio Bonifacci, based on the book “Mio fratello rincorre i dinosauri” by Giacomo Mazzariol
Sergi Bartrolí
Antonio Barba
Ivana Gargiulo
Lucas Vidal
Paco Cinematografica, Rai Cinema
Neo Art Producciones

Stefano Cipani studied film history and criticism at the University of Bologna where he joined the Italian film and art collective theSPONKstudios. During his four years in Bologna, he worked in different positions on feature films and also directed a number of short films and music videos. After his graduation he moved to Los Angeles for a Master's in filmmaking. He also attended the New York Film Academy where he directed two shorts, Napoleon's Charm (2009) and While God Is Watching Us (2011), the latter shot on super 16mm. After collaborating with US production companies and MTV Italia, Stefano Cipani returned to Italy to direct Symmetry (2014). My Brother Chases Dinosaurs (2019) is his first feature film.

  • 2020 – La Grande Guerra a Colori (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2019 – Mio fratello rincorre i dinosauri
  • 2016 – Shine Bright (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2014 – Symmetry (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2011 – While God Is Watching Us (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2009 – A Pill for David Friktenstein (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2009 – A Piece of Hero (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)
  • 2009 – Napoleon’s Charm (court-métrage / short / Kurzfilm)