Director’s Statement

Stand Up is an incredibly tough film, full of psychological tension, which conveys a strong social message: we simply cannot allow anything to stop us from standing up for our fundamental rights.

With so many protests occurring around the world in the last five years, I felt a strong need to make this film as an ‘emblem of resistance’ dedicated to the many peaceful ‘protesters’ who have been abused and, in some cases, killed by authorities.

My approach has been to reinterpret the traditional stereotype of the ’hero’, commonly embodied by a male, and for this reason I chose a young woman, Sara. From a psychological point of view, she is the strongest character in the whole film and indeed, thanks to her intelligence, kindness and determination she manages to save both herself and Eric from certain death. Aside from this, the character of Sara also suppresses the stereotype of the ‘female as a sex object’, traditionally adopted in cinema and television. In fact, she represents ‘woman’ as a human being, equal to ‘man’ and equally capable of extreme acts of bravery.

The film is set in a decayed interrogation room, in a deliberately undetermined location. This choice was made in order to free the film from labels and preconceptions and therefore to give it universal appeal. In this way the film will be able to successfully deliver its message on a worldwide scale to audiences from every background.

To conclude on a more philosophical note, Stand Up is dedicated to the dreamers, who ‘struggle’ to pursue their ambitions, fighting against all kinds of obstacles – like their own internal conflicts, or the expectations of society/friends/family. Like the protesters in the streets, they cannot allow anyone to stop them from pursuing their ambitions, on that complicated journey towards the realisation of their dreams.

Giacomo Mantovani