The Enchanted Lake

  • Director

    Max Chicco

  • Country, Year, Length

    Italy, 2024, 01:15:00

  • Category

    Narrative Feature

  • Format

    RED Raptor

  • Festival Year


Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

THE ENCHANTED LAKE: The story where love and environmental responsibilities collide.

April 21, 2024 @ 1:30PM • MoMI – Bartos


Il lago incantato is based on a true story. Nestled in the mountains at the edge of Greater Turin, the small town of Balangero is known for hosting one of the largest asbestos quarries in the world: the Balangero asbestos open-pit mine, or so-called “monster.”
The Latin word monstrum, or “prodigy,” carries the meaning of something wonderful and unusual at the same time. This is the broad context where Eleonora’s story unfolds. An energetic, inquisitive 17-year-old girl with a great passion for videomaking, Eleonora comes across mysterious footage of her mother Simona as a young girl and the disturbing presence of a frightening monster in the quarry. The footage gives Eleonora the idea to make a movie demonstrating that the legend of the “quarry monster” is actually true. Accompanied by her friend Leo, she ventures into the woods surrounding the asbestos mine, an area where access has been restricted for three decades due to ongoing land reclamation work. The corporation responsible for the mine land reclamation project, called RSA S.r.l., employs Eleonora’s father, Bartolomeo, and a custodian, Bepin. The girl’s first attempts at shooting her movie are unsuccessful: her plans are uncovered, resulting in a clash with her mother; Simona, in fact, resents how Eleonora disrespectfully dug into her past. Not understanding the reasons for her mother’s reaction, Eleonora investigates further and unveils a painful love story tragically tainted by death. As Eleonora is faced with this discovery, her conviction regarding her original project falters and new information emerges about the historical, social, and economic trauma caused by the asbestos quarry to previous generations in the area. This causes her to change course and completely reinvent her project by turning it into a documentary about the mine itself, which will meet with great acclaim. For Eleonora, the making of her movie becomes an inner journey of self-discovery as she attempts to make sense of, and give meaning to, her life.


Max Chicco, Directo, rA Big Love
Max Chicco, Writer
Gigi Colasanto, Writer
Stefano D’Antuono, Writer
Max Chicco, Producer
Simona Rapello, Key Cas, t”A big Love”
Max Chicco, Edited, A Big Love
Claudio Vernetti, Music, A big love

Director Biography

Max Chicco was born in October 1968.

Having graduated from the University of Turin in Cinema History and Criticism, in 1992 he was selected by Daniele Segre’s Cammelli Factory for participation in the Social Documentation Video Master program funded by the European Union. In 1994 he completed his first 16mm film, entitled “Lunedi mattina,” which was awarded the Quality Prize by the Ministry of Culture.

In 2016 Max Chicco made his medium feature film titled A Big Love starring the famous italian actor Paolo Graziosi (who played an infant and a 6 six years old child) and in 2017 this film won the 7° Queens World Film Festival Award, Boston International Film Festival, Eurovision Film Festival, Eurocinema Film Festival and Austria Film Festival. It has been also selected at New York Independent Film Festival, Beverly Hills Film Festival, Rincon Film Festival in Puerto Rico and Ismail Film Festival in The Cairo city.

In Beverly Hills Film Festival the film has been screened at Chinese Theatre of Los Angeles.

In 2016 Max Chicco and Meibi have been selected by Piedmont Co – Pro Netwoking with two feature film projects, now there are in development.

In 2015 at Piemonte Movie in Turin the new web series Blind fate has been screened in world wide premiere. This web series (8 segments) has bene directed by Simona Rapello, Mathieu Gasquet and Max Chicco.

In 2014 Max Chicco became a director of media production about Mirabilia Circus Festival and in 2015 Blind Fate has been showed in Piemonte Movie GLOcal Film Festival.

In 2013 Max, as producer, has been selected from Biennale College to realize with the direction of Alessio Fava the feature film Yuri Esposito that will screened at the 70th anniversary of the venerable Venice Film Festival, set to take place Aug. 28-Sept. 7.

In 2011, he created an audiovisual for artist Michelangelo Pistoletto who was performing in Bordeaux; this work was produced by the Biella-based organisation Cittàdellarte.

During 2009-2011 he directed “Seven,” an audiovisual on eco-sustainable wine production in Piedmont, funded by the Ministry of Production Activities, the EU, and Antica Cantina di Canelli. This project enabled him to show his works at the Shanghai Expo in 2010 and at the United Nations in New York (22 September 2010).

He continued to collaborate with satellite channel Rai Sat Cinema, and in 2008 was chosen by Current Tv (a channel founded by Al Gore the year before) to direct a series of Pods (short portraits) which were aired on Sky 130. In this manner, he became a regular director for this channel and was able to produce a series of inquiry videos: “Psicofarmaci ai bambini” (in collaboration with Alberto Coletta) and “Agenzie investigative in Italia”.

That same year, he made his debut in feature film production by directing “Saddam,” which was distributed as a home video by Millennium Storm, and shown in movie theatres with the Essai Film Certification. This film, which preceded by a few years the flood of reality shows that have now invaded our lives, relied on the collaboration of actor Frank Adonis (Raging Bulls, GoodFellas).

In 2006, on the occasion of the Turin Olympics, he produced with Rai Sat Premium “ItalyArt: le Olimpiadi della Cultura”.

On 11 September 2001 he was in Manhattan and from that experience of pain and desolation stemmed “Twin Towers: an American Tragedy,” shown at the Toronto Reel World Film Fest in 2001 and distributed by the Los Angeles-based O2C company.

In New York he worked in Broadway, filming TV specials for Rai Sat, “Broadway on stage” and “Dance Step Off Broadway” (15 episodes directly from the musicals), and two documentaries on Indie cinema in New York, “Lloyd Kaufman: un tycoon a Tromaville” and “Cinema Indipendente a New York”.
In 2001 he moved to New York and attended a Filmmaking Master program at the New York Film Academy. His end-of-course short “Chocolate and Flowers” was the recipient, the following year, of the Cinecittà International Digital Award.

In 2000, in collaboration with Rai Trade, he wrote and directed a virtual reality experimental program, entitled “Cartoons on the Bay,” that he filmed at the Turin Multimedia Park mixing 2D and 3D animated cartoons with live action.

From 1998 to 1996, he produced and directed a series of 35mm shorts, during the same period, he filmed a number of corporate videos for brands such as Martini & Rossi, Ramazzotti, Pernod Richard, Lovable, Paravia, Italfer Spa. In 1999, he joined, as a director, Rai Sat’s production staff, and, in particular, worked for Rai Sat Show (dance-music), Rai Sat Cinema, Rai Sat Premium.

In collaboration with the Archives of the Worker and Democratic Movement, he directed and produced two documentaries on historic/social issues: “Volevano portarci via le stelle” narrating the story of partisan fighter Marisa Scala (and the trial, after forty years in hiding, of the ‘Butcher of Bolzano’ Misha Seifert), and “I nuovi gladiatori,” the story of young engineers who cannot find a job. Thanks to this experience he was able to work with author-director Ansano Giannarelli (a pupil of Zavattini).

In 1995, Chicco founded his own production company in Turin, Meibi, with which he has produced most of his most significant works (shorts, documentaries and a feature film).

In 1994 he also directed a documentary, “Il Sig. Rossi prese il fucile,” produced by Palomar for Mixer, a TV program by Giovanni Minoli, and that same year he won first prize at the Torino Film Festival Spazio Italia.