section Documentary Film Competition

The Crown Shyness

  • Valentina Bertani
  • IT, IL
  • 2022
  • 96 min

How do you grow up when you're already 20? After leaving school, identical twins Benji and Joshua must learn to build a life with their boundless energy and mental impairment, even independently of each other.

Benji and Joshua, an animated Italian-Jewish pair of identical twins, are hard to tame. Both of have big plans for their 20th birthday. While a pool party looks unlikely, they finally want to have sex with a woman, with Benjamin being the more romantic of the two. The twins grow up in a loving home not far from Milan; after they finish school, they are initially faced with a lack of prospects however. Benji and Joshua are both mentally handicapped and spend most of their time with family and a group of Jewish youths. Director Valentina Bertani accompanies the two young men as they live their everyday lives, giving intimate insight into their dreams, zest for life, and also the frustration that results from being an outsider. During their joint military service in Israel, differences in character come to the surface. As with the eponymous crown shyness - with their canopy of leaves, trees keep a respectful distance from one another as they grow - Benji and Joshua also free themselves from each other. And yet their close brotherly bond will always endure.
Text: Kira Taszman
English: Peter Rickerby

At all screenings, except on 14.6., screenwriter Irene Annarosa Pollini Giolai will be present for a film talk after the film.

watch trailer

" title="Trailer: The Crown Shyness" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; clipboard-write; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen>


original title The Crown Shyness

international title The Crown Shyness

german title The Crown Shyness

JFBB section Documentary Film Competition

  • director Valentina Bertani

country/countries IT, IL

year 2022

duration 96 min

Portrait of Valentina Bertani

Valentina Bertani

BIO Valentina Bertani was Born in Mantova, Italy, in 1984. In 2000 she signed a contract with Warner Music with her teen band. During the making of a music video of one of their songs, she realized that she prefers to stay behind the camera - not in front of it. When her contract ended, she decided to move to Rome to study film directing. After finishing her studies, she directed her first music video: a black and white tribute to Harmony Korine shot with an old Super8 Nizo. Now Valentina is a freelance director. In addition to music videos, she also worked extensively in all kinds of audiovisual projects -tv commercials, fashion films and web content forclients such as Gucci, Adidas, Zalando, Samsung,Trussardi, Pirelli, Audi, Unicef, Müller, Bvlgari, Kartell,Heineken, Valentino. In 2016 Valentina directed the second unit of thefeature film “Tini: the new life of Violetta”, aninternational Disney production. She also shot a documentary starring the singerLuciano Ligabue for Fox Channel that tells the storybehind one of his records. She is now based in Milan,shooting tv commercials, documentaries, and fashionfilms worldwide while writing her first feature filmtogether with her sister Nicole.