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Grant number: FEL-262993-19

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Noa Steimatsky, PhD
Unaffiliated Independent Scholar

The World's War on the World's Stage: Italian Movie Studio Cinecittà, 1942-1950

Research and writing leading to publication of a book on the history of the Italian film studio Cinecittà from 1942-1950.

I apply to the NEH Fellowship to complete research and write a book on Cinecittà during World War 2 and its aftermath. Copiously documented and illustrated, the book will trace how the Fascist movie studio was seeped in the affairs of state and the havoc of war. New research on Cinecittà’s use as POW camp starting 1942–first by the Italians, then by the Germans, finally by the Allies—will be joined with my work on its later use as DP camp. Most striking is how film productions used black South African POWs as movie extras, foreshadowing MGM’s similar postwar use of DPs. These and other findings–yet to be followed through and analyzed–expand the definition, complexity, and scope of my original project. I aim to reconstruct the most complete narrative of Cinecittà’s vagaries through the 1940s, but am also invested in historiographic questions of film culture and institutions, cinematic space and worldmaking in relation to histories of violence, displacement and confinement.

Project fields:
Area Studies; Cultural History; Film History and Criticism


Research Programs

Total amounts:
$60,000 (approved)
$60,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2019 – 5/31/2020