From the time Leonardo Pirondi was just a child, growing up in São Paulo, Brazil, he held one interest: movies. He grew up watching Star Wars and other American cartoons dubbed in Portuguese, and he was entranced. As a teenager, he began to expand his horizons, digging into the classics from Hitchcock, Chaplin, Tarantino, and older Disney animations. He then began exploring foreign films, from Godard to Kurosawa, and Jodorowsky, and eventually began appreciating films from Brazil with the incredible work of Glauber Rocha. These masters shaped his understanding of the use of sound and image, as well as how to look for a more independent and artistic cinema around the globe. He knew that he too would one day follow in their footsteps, and began a journey that changed his life forever.
Now, Pirondi is an internationally sought-after filmmaker, with many impactful and award-winning films decorating his resume. These include (un)MUTE, ESMAECER, An Earthquake Opera in Two Acts, The Illusionists Cube, and many more, spanning across genres seamlessly. At the root of it, Pirondi is a storyteller and knows how to captivate an audience with his work.
Pirondi’s most recent success is the experimental film This is Mine, This is Yours. It is a meditation on the unnatural lines drawn by human beings. After leaving Brazil, moving to Portugal and then coming to live in Los Angeles all in only one year, Pirondi felt what borders really are for the first time. The film came to be after hours of long flights looking at a map on the screen and his interest in maps since he was little. In essence, the film ties together his relationship to all of those elements in a combination of visual mediums; still, moving, and digitally rendered images while creating his own barrier with the audience with the use of language.
“I like how my film, even though it is political, it is not pointing fingers at any specific country, state, or city. Instead it is questioning the lines that, we humans, created to divide ourselves. I think it became an important subject for me after living in three different countries and this is not only unique to me as we see it in the world around us,” said Pirondi.
As Writer, Producer, Editor, Cinematographer, and Director of the film, Pirondi was entirely responsible for its success, both an exciting and exhilarating experience for any artist. He wanted to convey the idea that maps are a matter of representation, a matter of perspective, which is basically the same process of making a film; it is always made from the perspective of who’s making it.
“I would say that making this project was life changing. I gave myself a goal of experimenting with elements that weren’t only live action; it was about sound, image (still or moving), and how they interact and communicate. I say this was life changing because it opened my mind to working on films that mix mediums a lot more than the traditional dominant cinema,” he said.
This is Mine, This is Yours had its world premiere in Austin, Texas at the 2019 Austin Arthouse Film Festival. It took home the award for Best Social Commentary at that same festival. Since then, the film has had several private screenings where audiences can take in the cinematic masterpiece Pirondi has created, and he could not be prouder of its success.
“One of the things I love the most about making films is releasing them into the world, and how different perspectives read the film. I love talking about my film after it screens and having this sense of ‘I did my job.’ This film had a great impact on people, from its private screening at CalArts to the Premiere at the Austin Arthouse Film Festival where I had a lot of conversations about sound, language, and the need of subtitles in film,” he concluded.