2019 / 53’

Mister Wonderland recounts the remarkable story of Sylvester Z. Poli, a humble artisan who emigrated from Italy to America at the end of the 19th century — only to become the greatest theater impresario of his time. The film chronicles his journey from rural Tuscany to the bright lights of the Roaring Twenties, revealing how a migrant’s ingenuity shaped the movie-going experience as we know it. Crossing continents and generations, Mister Wonderland sets out to find what remains today of Sylvester’s theaters and the communities they used to serve

To buy a digital copy of the film for educational purposes, contact info@awenfilms.net

Festival dei Popoli  /  ‘Il Cinemino’ Award
New Haven Documentary Film Festival  /  Official Selection
Lucca Film Festival & Europa Cinema  /  Special Screening
New Italian Cinema Events  /  Official Selection
Rassegna del cinema archeologico  /  Official Selection
AegeanDocs International Film Festival  /  Official Selection
Waterloo Historical Film Festival  /  Official Selection

Rai 3 (Italy)
Rai 2 (Italy)

Directed by Valerio Ciriaci
Written by Valerio Ciriaci and Luca Peretti
Cinematographer: Isaak J. Liptzin
Editor: Andrea Fumagalli
Original Score: Francesco Venturi
Animation: Avansguardi
Sound design: Luigi Porto
Executive Producer: Nicola Borrelli
Producers: Isaak Liptzin, Valerio Ciriaci, Luca Peretti,
Maurizio Bernardi, Cristina Gianni

In collaboration with Infinity Blue, Lucca Film Festival e Europa Cinema

With the support of Fondazione Paolo Cresci per la Storia dell’emigrazione e italiana, Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Lucca

With the support of Programma Sensi Contemporanei Toscana per il Cinema

Fiscally sponsored by Independent Filmmaker Project (The Gotham)

Italian Cultural Institute, New York
The John D. Calandra Italian American Institute (Queens College)
Casa Italiana Zerilli-Marimò (New York University)
Provincia di Lucca
Comune di Coreglia Antelminelli
Comune di Gallicano
Associazione Lucchesi nel Mondo