* Dolce Cinema - Rencontres du cinéma italien
* Jerusalem Anthropological Film Festival
* Side by Side LGBT International Film Festival
* Seattle Cinema Italian Style
* Budapest International Documentary Festival
* Athena Film Festival
* Annecy Cinema Italien
* Frameline (USA)
* Alice nella città (Rome, Italy)
* IDFA Luminous
* TRT World (Beşiktaş / , Turkey)
* Hot Docs (Toronto, Canada)
* Dok.Fest Münich (Germany)
* Kerala International Children's Film Festival
* Fidadoc
* Melbourne
* Documenta
* Calgary

* Busan International Film Festival – Mecenat Prize
* Golden Globes in Italy for Best Documentary
* Audience Award at Fidadoc in Agadir
* Audience Award "Laceno d'oro", Italy
* Best Film Award in the International category - TRT (Oran/Ankara, Turkey) * Jury Special Mention Molise Cinema


Category |Social Issues, Sport, Women, Youth
Year | 2018
Country | Italy
Running time | 80’ & 52’
Format |
Production | Indyca snc
Director | Alessandro Cassigoli, Casey Kauffman

At only 16 years old, Irma moves from her lively hometown south of Naples to an isolated part of northern Italy. It’s the headquarters of the national boxing team, and it’s where Irma will be transformed into a world champion. Three practices per day, a strict diet, and no school, family, or friends to get in the way of winning an Olympic medal. Two years go by and Irma becomes the hope of the Italian team. The Games in Rio are just around the corner and the country is counting on her. For family and friends back home, a shared glory finally seems to be in reach. In just 8 minutes though, the dream vanishes and Irma’s world collapses around her. A more experienced athlete leaves her crying helplessly on live television.

When Irma returns home her insecurities emerge. She has lost what defined her and feels guilty for having failed. Irma wants to turn a new page and explore life outside boxing. She goes out all night and daydreams of carefree travels to the other side of the world. She tries to mentor her younger brother, who has dropped out of school and gets mixed up in the wrong crowd. She also faces tensions with her mother and accuses her of not being present, even though she’s worked two jobs to keep the household afloat. Her homecoming isn’t easy, but Irma has the unwavering support of her original coach, 87 year-old Lucio. He’s her only real parental figure and encourages her attempts to reconnect with normal life. But Lucio doesn’t let boxing disappear completely, and when a new opportunity presents itself, Irma is faced with tough decisions that make her question who she really is.

This film is about a teenager trying to find her path in life. It’s a classic coming of age tale that is strengthened by an irresistible character, and a hybrid filmmaking style that allows BUTTERFLY to be experienced like a cinematic fiction film.


"Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman direct an interesting documentary about the sporting pursuits of Irma Testa – the first Italian boxer to qualify for the Olympics "
    - by Vittoria Scarpa, cineuropa

* - “One of the most human and honest films of Italy’s current cinema.” Sole24Ore

* - “A small gem that follows in the footsteps of Roberto Rossellini.” Avvenire

* -“Forget Million Dollar Baby, Irma Testa is the Butterfly.” La Repubblica

* -“Solid cinema that penetrates reality.” Taxi Drivers


Alessandro Cassigoli - directorCasey Kauffman - director Alessandro Cassigoli and Casey Kauffman started working together in 2015 and have co-directed two feature length films. “The Things We Keep” (France, 2017) was produced by Yuzu Productions with ARTE and Al Jazeera. It premiered at Italy’s Biografilm 2018 and won the Audience Award in the International Competition. Their second feature “Butterfly” (Italy, 2018) was produced by Indyca and Rai Cinema, and premiered at the Festa del Cinema di Roma (Alice nella città). The film was distributed in theatres across Italy by Istituto Luce Cinecittà and participated in prestigious international festivals such as IDFA and Hot Docs. In June 2019, “Butterfly” won Italy’s prestigious Golden Globe for Best Documentary Film.

PRESS IMAGES: (click to preview)



BUTTERFLY - Trailer from CAT&Docs on Vimeo.