The Italian Cultural Institute of Montreal

Canadian Premiere
Selection 2022

Freaks Out

Directed by Gabriele Mainetti


Official selection

Venice International Film Festival 2021
Busan International Film Festival 2021
Sitges International Film Festival 2021
Fantastic Fest 2021
Rotterdam International Film Festival 2022


Gabriele Mainetti


Nicola Guaglianone, Gabriele Mainetti


Franz Rogowski, Claudio Santamaria


True Colours

Belgium, Italy 2021 142 mins OV Italian/German Subtitles : English
Genre DramaFantasyAction

“A Shoah-reversing fantasy of liberation and revenge, like a superheroic spin on Tarantino's INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS”

“Fans of THEY CALL ME JEEG won’t be disappointed. Mainetti confirms himself to be a visionary talent”
– Camillo De Marco, CINEUROPA

“Mainetti's new superhero film is delightful and spectacular, a deserved crowdpleaser”

WINNER Leoncino d'Oro Agiscuola, Venice Film Festival 2021; IFFR Audience Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2022

1943. War-torn Rome. Occupying Nazis are increasing their explorations into harnessing occult forces for weaponry. Their searches lead them to the sideshow attractions of the Mezza Piotta Circus—Fulvio (an unrecognizable Claudio Santamaria, appearing as a towering, werewolf-like being), Matilde (Aurora Giovinazzo), Cencio (Pietro Castellitto) and Mario (Giancarlo Martini). With powers beyond the explanations of science, all are outsiders of a sort, formed into a troupe that’s become family. Soon, they will be fighting for their lives, as well as everyone else’s, in the most unusual superhero film you will ever see.

Circus sideshow performers vs. Nazis in 1940s Italy! Immediately, this sets up an expectation of something campy. That perception couldn’t be more wrong. Like Todd Browning’s FREAKS, a thematically linked film that was also more soulful and empathetic than audiences were prepared for, FREAKS OUT is a heartfelt work of passion with a very specific point-of-view. It’s also audience-thrilling to the extreme, a rambunctious old-school spectacle film that glows with personality and a rarified sense of magic. Writer/director Gabriele Mainetti’s sophomore feature following 2015’s instant classic THEY CALL ME JEEG (winner of an audience award at Fantasia, along with 16 others internationally), FREAKS OUT reunites him with his star Santamaria and it truly takes no prisoners. The biggest budget Italian genre film in many, many years, it launched in competition at last fall’s Venice Film Festival, winning nine awards, including the Leoncino d'Oro. A fantastical and gutsy celebration of the different, it walks an electrifying tightrope act between audience-pleasing blockbuster filmmaking and an edgier, more personal and subversive genre work. You already know that you need to see it. And you do. – Mitch Davis