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London Tattoo Convention: World Premiere Film Screening: Mamma Vita Mia

The London Tattoo Convention are thrilled to announce the exclusive premiere screening of 'Mamma Vita Mia' this September.

This award-winning documentary film invites viewers on an introspective voyage through the historic tattoo culture of Naples, revealing the criminal origins of the phenomenon and its evolution into modern-day tattooing.

The London Tattoo Convention are proud to screen the film publicly for the first time this September 28-29-30th at Tobacco Dock. This week, we caught up with the creators of the documentary, Giuseppe Di Vaio and Braian Anastasio, to find out more...

Firstly, congratulations on the huge success of your documentary film debut and the fantastic achievement on winning the Etnofilmfest! Can you explain the concept of the film to our readers?

We are very happy with the success of "Mamma Vita Mia" at the most important Italian documentary festival, the Etnofilmfest. It was a surprise, but we know that we have done a good job and we hope to continue in this way. The film presents an unknown world; we often see beautiful tattoos, but we are not looking for the culture behind them. We try to show the tattoo art culture and the roots of one of the most fascinating and dangerous cities in the world.

The film title translates to 'Mother, My Life'. Can you explain the significance or meaning of this title?

‘Mamma Vita Mia’ is the tattoo phrase that every prisoner dedicated to his mother. A way to express his love to the woman who, more than any other, remains close to a man, even in difficult times.

What sparked the idea to create the movie?

Braian had this idea. He had wanted to talk about these characters for a long time. To share the true facts of the real Neapolitan tattoo culture, ancient facts with ancient techniques but all original and with precise meanings. His meeting with Giuseppe, who took care of cinematography, was the beginning of this long journey.

How did you locate the film's participants; was it a challenge to find characters who would speak openly about their tattoos and criminal past? I imagine that this is a 'closed-door' world – where did you begin making connections?

Braian is a very famous tattoo artist in Naples, so it was not difficult for him to find these characters, he found the right connections and took us to their homes. Giuseppe is also a famous photographer in the city, he took care of the psychological approach with the protagonists of our stories and to give a line to the story. This is an inaccessible world; to talk with people of this caliber, you need to have connections with people who have their trust. You must then personally win their trust, something that isn’t easy. Giuseppe and Braian formed friendly relationships with all the characters in the film, inviting them to eat together with the rest of the team. The key to connecting with characters such as these is language, it is very important to speak their own language and not to have prejudices.

Can you tell us about some of the most interesting characters you met through the documentary process?

The characters are all extraordinary. Some are legends of the Neapolitan Camorra. There are murderers and "simple" robbers, and they all have tattoos with special meanings, they all have amazing stories to tell.

What are your thoughts on the evolution of modern tattooing?

After working on this project, we became aware of how the Neapolitan tattoo world has evolved. Firstly, only the criminals, the prisoners, were tattooed as a symbol of gang recognition. Today, tattooing is a universal language, it is fashion, it is beauty. The psychological approach to the tattoo has changed.

Finally, we are thrilled to welcome you to The London Tattoo Convention this September with an exclusive screening of the documentary. What do you hope visitors will learn from the movie?

We are really very excited about this opportunity. The London Tattoo Convention is one of the most important and popular events in the world. We would like people to know that some tattoos hide extraordinary stories, and that Naples is one of the world capitals of tattooing, with an ancient culture of this art.

Join us at The London Tattoo Convention 28-29-30th September, for the chance to view this fascinating documentary and meet the creators. Advance Tickets are now on sale, get yours today.