Balkan Dox

The Image Machine of Alfredo C.

La macchina delle immagini di Alfredo C.

2021 — 76' / Color



April 1939. Fascist Italy occupied Albania. Thousands of Italian workers, settlers and technicians are transferred to the country. When Albania was liberated in 1944, the new, Communist government closed the nation’s borders, demanding Italy meet dozens of their conditions for the return of its citizens. In 1945, 27,000 Italian veterans and civilians were still held in Albania. Among them was a cameraman, Alfredo Cecchetti, previously a camera operator for the Fascist propaganda effort, traveling Albania with his movie camera for five years. Ironically, the Communists ask Alfredo—the only cameraman around—to create propaganda for them. Shut up in his storeroom, surrounded by thousands of reels of film, Alfredo begins to rewatch his old footage for a new purpose. Weaving together modern-day reenactments with thousands of hours of archival footage, director Roland Sejko brings to light Alfredo’s story, and with it a striking story of filmmaking, of propaganda, and of the lives of thousands of Italians during a long overlooked period in history.

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Director Biography

Roland Sejko (1968, Albania) graduated the Faculty of History and Philogy at the Tirana University before settling to Italy in 1991 where he has been working in the film business for Istituto Luce. A journalist and cultural reporter as well, Sejko founded and directs since 1999 the Albanian-language fortnightly “Bota shqiptare” (The Albanian world) addressed to the Albanian community in Italy. In 2008 Sejko made his debut as a director writing and co-directing the documentary “Albania, il paese di fronte”, based solely on propaganda archive material from Istituto Luce and the Albanian Film Archive.

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Roland Sejko


Giulia Chiara Crugnola


Niccolò Palomba


Luca Onorati


Roberto Cappannelli


Istituto Luce Cinecittà
Via Tuscolana 1055
00173 – Roma, Italia
+39 06722861
[email protected]