Mo Scarpelli


Italy & USA

Mo Scarpelli is an Italian-American director, writer and cinematographer. A SONG THAT SLAYS is her first fiction feature. Her previous mostly-nonfiction films have screened at the Berlinale, Visions du Réel, IDFA, Film Society of Lincoln Center and SXSW, among other venues. Her debut solo-directed film ANBESSA was nominated for both the Crystal Bear and Glashütte Documentary Prize at the 69° Berlinale, broadcast with ARTE/ZDF, and was released online with MUBI. Her latest film EL FATHER PLAYS HIMSELF received the jury’s Special Mention for Best International Feature at the 51° Visions du Réel and recently was awarded the TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Fund. Mo is Berlinale Talents selection, and has received fellowships from the New America Foundation, Cortona on the Move, and the Intl Women in Media Foundation. She is based in Rome.


A song that slays

A young girl is arranged to marry a man much older than her, in exchange for precious cattle dowry which her family desperately needs. She stages a rebellion which sparks complete turmoil of her community and nature, and leads her down a path of further resistance and violence. A SONG THAT SLAYS is a tragedy which interweaves the passion and angst of man and nature, in order to explore the neurotic divide between female obligation and freedom.