Grants:IEG/Isen - a documentary film about Wikimania Esino Lario

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The teaser of Isen - a documentary film about Wikimania Esino Lario.
Isen - a documentary film about Wikimania Esino Lario
IEG key blue.png
summaryWikimania Esino Lario, the annual international conference of the Wikimedia Community, is a real challenge: not only for the organizing team but for the local hosts too. Our aim is to document the efforts of the inhabitants of this little Italian village to take as much as possible from next year opportunity. A story about change, innovation, hospitality, community.
targetEnglish and Italian
strategic priorityincreasing reach
amount15000 €
this project needs...
created on07:17, 26 September 2015 (UTC)
round 2 2015

Project idea[edit]

What is the problem you're trying to solve?[edit]

Wikimania, the most important event of the Wikimedia community, has always been documented in the same way: videos of conferences and reports focussed on the content of its meetings. The local community involved in the process of organizing the event has never been the object of attention and the impact on the territory in which it is held has never been researched, monitored and told. Next year the conference will take place in Esino Lario, a small village in the mountains between Italy and Switzerland. The aim of the project is to design a site-specific event that, other than relates to the classic thematic tracks which have already structured past Wikimanias, brings together closely the local community and produces an impact beyond the event. Wikimania Esino has a great narrative power. But the risk is to remember it only for its conferences and workshops, without keeping track of the relations built with the territory and the local community.

What is your solution?[edit]

We want to make a documentary film that narrates the making of Wikimania Esino Lario and that highlights the deep connection between the event, the territory and the partecipatory process that involves the local community. Over a nine months period, a group of professional filmmakers will follow all the preparatory works for Wikimania, the arrival of more than a thousand volunteers from all over the world and how the local community reacts to these elements of change. To tell the story right and to understand what will happen next year we have to know how Esino is without Wikipedians: how people live, think and speak of themselves. And also what they think of Wikipedia and what they expect from the meeting.

Project goals[edit]

  • keep track of a unique event, a social experiment in the form of a storytelling process
  • credit Wikimania as a tool to improve cultural and social awareness among hosting communities
  • provide a useful case history for the creation and the development of other similar projects worldwide, especially in rural areas
  • tell the story of Wikimania and all the related Wikimedia projects to an audience of non-experts (outside the Wikimania community)
  • show how Wikipedia is considered and used among a local but exemplary community (a community that speaks for all isolated mountain villages)
  • communicate Wikimania through a cinematographic vehicle that relies on emotion rather than information
  • spread the key values of Wikimedia: connectivity, accessibility, collaborative work
  • picture a Wikimedia symbol: anyone can contribute to free knowledge anywhere

Project plan[edit]


Since March 2015 we have been working on the subject of the film. We have remained for a long time in the places in which the film will be shot in order to find the right distance between us and the subjects we want to film. Documenting the activities of some volunteers among the local community, the film develops some specific topics:

  1. Technology: the film follows the project of improving the connectivity in the village. Not only the works to develop the network to meet Wikimania internet access standards: the technology project in Esino is tailor-made on the specific needs and problems of the local community. The film shows this partecipatory process through the stories and the actions of some inhabitants who engage themselves in the creation and the use of the network.
  2. Hospitality: Wikimania Esino Lario is designed to have the majority of the attendees living and sleeping in Esino. This means to make local apartments available for the event and to have local people hosting volunteers from all over the world. The film records the activities of the Esino accomodation team, the story of some local hosts and their social interaction with foreigners.
  3. Participation: the conference deeply involves Esino Lario community, testing a more collaborative format during the event. The film follows the local community participating to conferences and workshops and volunteering for the event. Wikimania is seen from an outside perspective.
  4. The legacy: Wikimania legacy to Esino is partly tangible, partly immaterial. The network and the renewed infrastructures represent the main estate from Wikimania, providing a sustainable telecommunication infrastructure for the people living in the village. But the film also tells how this legacy is used by the locals, focusing on the immaterial aspects of the post-event and how (and if) it affects the way of living in the community.

The teaser for our documentary project can be watched here:

The teaser shows some of the typical contexts that the film will represent in Esino Lario linked with the voices of a group of local Wikimania volunteers attending an English lesson.

We also shot the teaser for the Wikimania Esino Lario event, presented at Wikimania Mexico City 2015, here:


  • Subject and treatment -> 1.000,00 euros
  • Camera operator -> 4.000,00 euros
  • Audio engineer -> 3.000,00 euros
  • Equipment rental -> 2.000 euros
  • Travels & general expenses -> 1000,00 euros
  • Hdd and materials -> 500,00 euros
  • Editing -> 2.000,00 euros
  • Other postproduction expenses -> 1.000,00 euros
  • Subtitles -> 500,00 euros

Total -> 15.000,00 euros

The documentary film costs more than 15'000 euro. We are currently fundraising with other potential sponsor and in any case we are investing with our volunteer work.

Community engagement[edit]

The project is addressed to three different communities.

1. The community living in Esino Lario. We have been working with local people for months; we aim to involve them in the process of building a faithful picture of their village community. In order to do that we are working in different ways:

  • researching and interviewing community members about their village and next year event;
  • collecting amateur and archive footage about Esino, especially videos shot by locals;
  • featuring some local inhabitants as characters in the film. We already started working with local farmers and with future Wikipedians’ volunteers and hosts.

2. The Wikimania community. We are going to interact with the community during the event preparation and during the week of the conference:

  • interviewing some of the members of the organizing team to focus on the peculiar characteristics of Wikimania Esino Lario and to share thoughts and our approach to the subject;
  • featuring some of the attendees as characters in the film.

3. The film audience community. We will work on different aspects:

  • documentary language: telling a real story means always telling a story. We will try to find the most significant characters and situations to deliver our message and to build a narration with rithm, humour, intelligence;
  • communication and distribution: the media coverage on the event will drive attention on the documentary project, creating expectations that should help the film distribution.


At the end of the grant, we will have a durable communication tool, the film, that doesn't loose value through time and it can be reproduced in different ways as TV, cinema and festivals. Wikimania will benefit from a film that vehicles its principles and its message. The documentary film can be used as a full case history for the creation and the development of other similar projects worldwide. The film could be screened in schools for educational purposes too. These are some of the potential channels:

  • international online film screening: a series of special events set in time where the film is shown through a web video platform (this will be planned with other production partners when it comes to define the distribution strategy)
  • Iinternational distribution (cinema & tv)
  • Part of the footage of the film (not the edited final version) used in cc by-sa licence to be selected to go on Wikimedia Commons homepage.
  • Italian on-line media channels like,, and international on-line news channels. Those media are always looking for innovative video contents to attract audience.

Measures of success[edit]

A fundamental goal for the documentary film is to create an audience and broad it as much as possible. In order to do that we are working on a suitable production and distribution strategy:

  • Pitching sessions. Presentation to professionals in several meetings is a powerful tool to get feedback from the industry and find new collaborations. In September, at the Italian Doc Screenings meeting in Palermo, the film has won the selection and gained the access to Mia (International Audiovisual Market held in Rome during Rome Film Fest). This will help finding co-productions and distribution at an international level. We can measure the success of this channel by the number of co-productions we will be able to collect.
  • Festivals. The first step of our distribution strategy is the participation to a film festival. The main target will be film festivals specifically dedicated to documentary cinema (Festival dei Popoli in Florence, Visions du Reel in Nyon etc.) and international festivals like Locarno Film Festival. We can measure the success of the film by defining some objective parameters as: number of festivals where the film has been selected, prizes and mentions. Expected: al least 5 international festivals.
  • Public screenings. Start collaborating with many territorial private and public institutions in Italy and in Switzerland, in order to let the film circulate in local cinemas, schools and get as much attention as possible. Estimated: over 100 screenings locally (North of Italy and Switzerland) for the period late 2016/2017.
  • TV Channels. The best production strategy for a documentary film is to have a tv channel as a partner. In addition, this would guarantee a relatively broad audience for the final film. We are looking for a partnership of this kind both in Italy and Switzerland. Measures of success: the right tool is the audience on TV: we are not sure we can access to statistics, but when it comes to national tv channels we are confident numbers are high.
  • Screenings on-line: views online (accessible statistics)
  • Home movies: number of printed DVD
  • Special online screenings: these free events could be advertised through a banner on pages the days before the event. This will generate a massive and measurable audience.
  • Reviews and articles, both on newspapers and on-line media: as the film grows in success, more media channels are involved. We can estimate the local press will cover very well all the local screenings. The participation to festivals, prizes and on-line screening events will spread the word internationally.

Get involved[edit]


Lorenzo and Chiara filming in Esino Lario during a Wikimania gathering.

Lorenzo Faggi is a film-maker based in Milan. He studied documentary at Milano Scuola Civica di Cinema and his final year short-film project “Photofish – una stagione alle corse” has been selected in competition at 55° Festival dei Popoli Firenze and screened at Filmmaker fest 2014 Milano and Bergamo Film Meeting 2015. He works as a creative producer for tv channels and founded the web-doc platform project

Chiara Campara studied documentary at Milano Scuola Civica di Cinema and co-directed the final year short-film project “Photofish – una stagione alle corse”. She graduated in Philosophy at the University of Milan and worked in publishing and newspapers. She collaborates with the cultural supplement of Corriere della Sera, La Lettura.

Community Notification[edit]

Please paste links below to where relevant communities have been notified of your proposal, and to any other relevant community discussions. Need notification tips?


Do you think this project should be selected for an Individual Engagement Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. (Other constructive feedback is welcome on the talk page of this proposal).

  • Community member: add your name and rationale here.
  • the idea of organizing Wikimania in a small village is particular. I don't like it, but I wish it every success. So I am curious to see how it has been and is going to be organized.--Alexmar983 (talk) 19:53, 27 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I personally find pretty annoying to have someone filming around all the time but I have to recognize that I have been really impressed with the work Lorenzo Faggi and Chiara Campara are doing around Esino Lario: they are detecting a rich complexity – of the project Wikimania and of the community Esino Lario – with an incredible sensitivity, a gentile sense of humour and a deep attention to how communities exist, collaborate and change. Wikimania is coming to Esino, but this film can really represent how Wikipedia and technology are moving, influencing and changing more than one community around. I do believe this film should happen and the contribution of Wikimedia Foundation is determinant; Wikimania Esino Lario does not have the resources to support it, but maybe our community agrees that it makes sense to support this film, to document this peculiar story which actually talks about "anyone", "anywhere". --iopensa (talk) 14:49, 29 September 2015 (UTC) (volunteer promoting Wikimania Esino Lario)
I've seen the teaser they've uploaded, not bad at all. they may win a prize...--Alexmar983 (talk) 16:40, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree that it makes sense to support this, video is the best promotion tool in this day and age, and it seems that the grantees possess the skills necessary to produce a good and useful product. Amqui (talk) 17:22, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support --ProtoplasmaKid (WM-MX) (talk) 23:19, 29 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Sebastian Wallroth (talk) 03:41, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Alicice8 (talk) 15:37, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • I think it's a great idea to document change, innovation, hospitality and that a sense of community still exists even in this difficult historical period! Because the true answer to difficulties is always in the openness, not in building walls! Arialdo.piatti (talk) 15:21, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support Deror avi (talk) 16:08, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support An interesting new perspective Anthere (talk) 18:56, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support Good idea to show what's behind a Wikimania. --Yiyi (talk) 21:23, 30 September 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support In an era where everything, from Nobel prize to evil facts, gets filmed, it's unquestionable that Wikimania should have its own film. I believe most wikipedians around the world would like to understand what Wikimania looks like and not just get infomed about the content of discussions. I wish the best success to Campara & Faggi: most likely, after Esino edition, we will consider obvious that wikimania should be filmed.--Ysogo (talk) 21:03, 1 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support In these days, you like or not, the choice is only if wikimania 2016 needs a professional made video or must just rely on phone camera ones. No doubt that next year youtube will be filled with low resolution wikimania movies, very often without music or using not cc music. To have a reference, high quality, open video to show when needed is really a good idea. Great teaser, I like it. --Kuggant (talk) 11:33, 2 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support I agree that we need a well made professional film which shows what this event really is. This documentary looks like it will be quite different from what we have seen in the past, and I feel that it will present the whole event from a new perspective. GastelEtzwane (talk) 20:54, 3 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Needs more specificity I like what is intended with the film, but right now the budget and other issues need to be better specified for me to approve. See my notes on the talk page. VGrigas (WMF) (talk) 22:42, 5 October 2015 (UTC)
  • Support Support --Fabexplosive The archive man 12:19, 8 October 2015 (UTC)