Maria Tarantino (Milan, 1972), graduated in philosophy at the University of Edinburgh and then went on to do research at the KU Leuven, the University of Wuppertal and Ca’ Foscari in Venice. Her center of interests is phenomenology, a contemporary branch of philosophy that focuses on the human being, its structures and understanding of the world. After ten years of academic studies, she decided to explore the world of information and communication. After an internship at Le Monde Diplomatique in Paris in 2001, she began working as a freelance journalist for Italian and Belgian publications, radio and television, writing on politics, culture, cinema and food (Radio Rai 1, Pure FM, La Premiere, De Morgen, Deng, Et Cetera, Il Manifesto, Diario della Settimana, Slowfood).
In 2005 and 2006, she presented on Canvas the innovative series of 25 documentaries “De Wereld Van Tarantino”.
She also made the odd incursion in the world of contemporary art, translating her journalistic work on a different register: “een auto die democratie heet…” (audio installation, De Brakke Grond, Amsterdam, 2006), SAP (Sociaal Autonoom Produkt, interactive food installation, Festival Aan De Werf, Utrecht, 2008), GMOs (Generously Modified Organisms, a series of free workshops on fermentation, in Bruxelles and London), CityOneMinutes Chartres (24 videos, deBuren and De Brakke Grond, 2012).
In 2009 she moved into filmmaking and directed “Inside Out”, an analysis of power relations inside an Italian prison where a group of inmates create a theatre performance. The film was shown at the London Independent Film Festival, it toured prisons in Belgium and Italy and a television version was broadcast on BBC World.
The following year she travelled to Burundi to make “Kubita”, a self-funded and self-shot film about torture in Burundi’s prisons. “Kubita” was shown at the festivals of Docville, Parnu, Liege, Bujumbura and broadcast on TV5. In the same year she set up the production house WILDUNDOMESTICATED in Brussels, which produced a medium-length film about the Brussels opera house and a series of short films about Chartres before getting into the long adventure of “Our City”.
“Our City” is a feature-length documentary about Brussels, it was presented at IDFA in Amsterdam. The Belgian premiere will be at Docville in Leuven in 2015 and then at the KFDA in Brussels.