: Documentary Feature
GENRE: Documentary
STATUS: Development


The director's obsession for wild bohemian painter Vali Myers becomes possession and eventually a journey to heal and bloom as woman and artist.


FALLING INTO VALI is a poetic mixed-media journey documenting the director’s obsession with Australian, long deceased artist Vali Myers. In dialog with Vali's fierce spirit Chiara explores what it means to rekindle our connection with our wild nature and the price we pay for staying in the box.


Having started to collect material a long time before I decided to make something with it, the documentary is a collage of found footage, old documentaries, non-professional photos, time-lapse videos, iPhone videos, stock footage, Instagram stories and posts, reenactments, old and contemporary interviews: the result is a very personal mixed media project, somehow inspired by Vali Myers’ diaries. Another attempt to recreate Vali’s personal aesthetic and bohemian style will be done by using superimposed images, lysergic sequences, imperfect shots, and a rich use of color. The heterogeneous elements of the movie will allow the audience to feel Vali’s essence and presence but also to understand the chaotic, instinctive, exciting, mystical, scary journey that I went through, jumping from a perfect life (according to the society’s standards) to an adventure that didn’t make sense to anyone, sometimes not even to myself. The contrast between the society’s idea of perfection and truth, and mine will be represented by juxtaposing polished, filtered, tv-and-instagram-like shots when showing my life before meeting Vali, and more imperfect, gritty, unstable shots about my life after I started following my muse. The interviews will have a more neutral and intimate look and will be the bridge from the hard to believe story I am telling and the audience and a way to know more objectively both Vali and me through our relatives and friends words. The acoustic glue to this collage is my voice as a mix of a confession to a close friend (or therapist!) and a fairytale for adults. Indeed I will show myself only at the beginning as a still fake and dolled up tv shopping host - and at the end, for who I really am. During the rest of the documentary my image will be caught only as a reflection in the mirrored walls of a room, in the process of dressing up and acting like Vali to the point that sometimes it will be hard to understand if you are watching me or her. This rebound between Vali and me, will be at the same time visual and narrative (Vali’s story will be mirrored through my personal journey with my obstacles, trials and tributes), and give a feeling of how our souls are intertwined: if she is the one that gave me access to my true self, I am the one giving the audience access to her. As much as I am aware of the absurdity of my story – someone might think I am a psycho and honestly I wouldn’t blame them – the documentary won’t shy from it and its tone will fluctuate from magical realism, to accurate reporting of the events, to self-mockery. My goal is for the audience to fall further down the rabbit hole as I did. And through this whirlwind of madness I will hold their hand, guiding them from their natural skepticism to believing in magic.


Chiara Centioni - Director
Born in Rome in 1986, she got a degree in Architecture and a Master Degree in Restoration at the Polytechnic University of Milan. Since a young age she has cultivated a growing passion for theater and film, studying acting in Milan and later in New York and Los Angeles where she attended the prestigious Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute. As an actress, she appeared in some national and international TV series and worked for ten years as a tv host for American broadcaster QVC. In 2017, she started studying screenwriting for short, feature film and TV series and developed her first screenplay “Sansone”. In 2019, the screenplay won the first prize for short-movie at RIFF - Rome Independent Film Festival. “Sansone” has been directed by Chiara, produced by Goldenart Productions and Rai Cinema, and nominated to many festivals around the world. The short movie encourages people to donate their hair to make wigs for cancer patients and launched a national campaign of hair collection that from September will become European. Chiara is now working at the development of several documentaries, tv series and movies with Italian and international producers. All her projects have in common the central role of women and their daily struggles to affirm their power and rights in our society.

Stefan Ciupek - Cinematographer
Stefan's early work on films like Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (OSCAR, BAFTA and ASC award for Best Cinematography and 8 Academy Awards) and 127 Hours (6 Oscar Nominations), helped shape his path in becoming one of cinema’s exciting cinematographers. He‘s been at the forefront of digital cinematography on films such as Alexander Sokurov’s epic one-shot opus Russian Ark, Lars von Trier’s Antichrist and Alex Garland´s graphic novel adaptation Dredd. His contribution as digital cinematography supervisor, 2nd Unit DOP and film colorist on these projects, as well as his association with Europe‘s acclaimed filmmakers, laid the foundations for Stefan‘s own cinematic vision. Stefan went on to shoot Guns Akimbo (starring Daniel Radcliffe and Samara Weaving) which premiered at TIFF & Sitges. In 2020 his Documentary Babenco, Tell me when I Die won in Venice and was Brazil's official submission for 2 Oscars. His recent Cinematography credits include The Good Neighbor (starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Luke Kleintank), Posthumous (from director Lulu Wang) and The Super (starring Val Kilmer). With renowned artists Omer Fast and Eder Santos he has created cinematic experiences, which screened at venues like Locarno Film Festival, the MoMA in New York, The LOUVRE and Centre Pompidou in Paris as well as Martin Gropius Bau in Berlin. Stefan also conducts cinematography Masterclasses and Workshops for the Berlinale Talent Campus, the European Film Academy, NYU and various Film Schools all across the world.

Christine Guenther - Producer
Christine is a Producer working between LA & Berlin. She has produced European segments of drama series including ‘Counterpart’, ‘Killing Eve’, ‘The Flight Attendant’ and International units of documentary series such as Emmy-nominated ‘The Fourth Estate’, ‘Abstract: The Art Of Design' and ‘Ugly Delicious’. In 2015 Christine co-founded Fireglory Pictures with Chevy Chen, specializing in storytelling that ignites conversation and emotional veracity with an emphasis on the cinematic spark that stokes flames in the hearts & minds of a global audience. Christine coproduced Jeremy Philips’ ‘1/1’ and Zack Taylor’s award-winning feature-doc ‘Cassette’. Both released in limited theatrical runs in the U.S. and Germany. Christine produced ‘Kiss Me Kosher’ - a queer Middle Eastern culture clash comedy by Shirel Peleg, ‘Nasima - The Most Fearless’ – an empowering feature documentary about Bangladesh’s first female surfer, and coproduced the feature drama ‘Home’ directed by Franka Potente. All three released in 2021.

Chevy K. Chen - Producer
Chevy is a native Californian based in Los Angeles. In 2011, Chevy joined Master Key Productions as a visual effects producer and assisted on shows COVERT AFFAIRS, JUSTIFIED, and SUITS. He would later become Head of Production at MK, specializing in Foreign Unit Shoots. In 3 years, Chevy produced in over 25 countries and oversaw international units for various shows and networks (ABC, NBCUniversal, Sony, Marvel, etc). In 2019, Chevy produced KISS ME KOSHER - a romantic comedy, NASIMA - a feature documentary, and co-produced HOME - feature drama: All three films will release in 2021, after the great “pause” of 2020. Chevy has been a PGA member since 2012 and recipient of the PGA’s Mentorship program in 2016. He serves a part of their International Committee, Diversity and Inclusion Committee, and New Media council. Chevy is also a member of the Producer’s Without Borders network and USC School of Cinematic Arts alumnus.


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