Matteo Bastianelli (b. 1985) is a freelance documentary photographer and filmmaker based in Rome, Italy. He is a National Geographic Magazine contributor and a member of Italy’s National Order of Journalists since 2009. Above all he works on personal and long-term projects related to social, environmental and human rights issues, with a keen interest in consequences of wars and contemporary issues affecting our society.
He spent almost five years working in the former Yugoslavia, mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina, focusing on the theme of memory and identity. The result of this visual documentary work has been resealed as his first book and documentary film, “The Bosnian Identity”. In 2012, for his ongoing commitment and documentation on the legacy of the Bosnian war, he was nominated honorable member of the international team of experts for the “Institute for Research of Genocide” in Canada.
Bastianelli was a member of Reportage by Getty Images Emerging Talent till 2014. His photographic and film projects have been published and commissioned by a number of national and international magazines, such as Al Jazeera, Burn, CNN, Corriere della Sera, Der Spiegel, Discovery Channel Interactive, D- La Repubblica, El Pais, Internazionale, International New York Times, Lens – The New York Times, L’Espresso, L’Europeo, La Repubblica, La Stampa, MSNBC, National Geographic Magazine, Newsweek Japan, PDN, Super 8-La Repubblica, Stern, Sky News, TIME Lightbox, Vanity Fair, Voice of America, Washington Post, XL Semanal, among others. Since 2016 he has also been working on assignment for NGOs such as Amnesty International, AVSI, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières, Human Rights Watch and International Committee of the Red Cross.
His projects have been shown in Belgium, Brazil, Estonia, France, Germany, Iran, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Turkey, The Netherlands and USA. He has received various awards for his work, among which PDN’s Photo Annual, Emerging Talent Award at Reportage by Getty Images, Canon Young Photographers’ Award, Honorable Mention from the NPPA- Best of photojournalism, finalist for the Burn Emerging Photographer Fund, Marco Bastianelli Prize for the Best First Book and “Vittorio de Seta” prize for the director of the best documentary film at BIF&ST- Bari International Film Festival 2013.
In 2013 he started working on “Souls of Syrians”, an ongoing multi-platform project which stems from the concern to document the effects of war on the life of Syria’s lost generation. “Souls of Syrians” received the Italian Doc Screenings Development Award for best documentary film in 2015, the AP32- American Photography Awards in 2016 and was a finalist at Luchetta Prize in 2017.
New projects are under and away in his home country, Italy, where since 2016 he has been working on “Green gold”, which aims to highlight the dynamics linked to the Cannabis business in Europe and to analyze the effects of Prohibition. The project has been published as cover story of 2017 June’s issue of National Geographic Italia and along with an interview on National Geographic Photography USA. “Green gold” was also screened on September 2017 during the International Festival of Photojournalism “Visa pour l’image” in Perpignan, France.
In 2018 he was able to document the world’s worst humanitarian disaster caused by the ongoing civil war in Yemen, focusing his attention on the resilience of civilians trapped in a life of violence and disease. His Yemen project appears in the August 2018 issue of National Geographic Magazine and has been used worldwide by Doctors Without Borders in 2019 for advocacy campaigns to help and protect Yemeni civilians.
- “Bilder Nordic School of Photography”, workshop with Eugene Richards, 2011.
- “Officine Fotografiche”, workshop with Christian Caujolle, 2011.
- “Scuola Romana di Fotografia”, Master in reportage and photojournalism, 2007-09.
- High school diploma, 2004.
- Souls of Syrians (2013-2018- in development)
- Borderline guardians, 5′, Italy 2017
- MaldiMare, 71′ Italy 2014
- The Bosnian Identity, 52′ Italy 2013
- Home sweet homeless, 5′ Italy 2012
- A silent scream for life, 5’ Italy 2011
- Back and forth, 5’ Italy 2010
Awards and recognitions
- “Mani Tese” Award for Investigative Journalism, Finalist 2019
- Abitare/Mufoco Grant, Finalist, 2017
- Luchetta Prize, Finalist, 2017
- FC Barcellona Photo Award, Finalist Prize, 2017
- Nominated World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2017
- AP32- American Photography Awards, Winner 2016
- Tokyo International Photo Award, silver winner 2016
- Life Framer Award, Honorary Winner 2016
- 5th Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism, Multimedia Award Finalist 2016
- Italian Doc Screenings Development Award for Best Documentary Film, Winner 2015
- CineEco International Film Festival, Official Jury Honorable Mention 2015
- CineEco International Film Festival, Youth Jury Honorable Mention 2015
- Photocrati Fund, Finalist 2014
- PixPalace-Visas ANI award, Shortlisted 2014
- Nominated World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2013
- Doc/it Professional Award, Finalist 2013
- Emerging Talent Award, Reportage By Getty Images, Winner 2013
- Marco Bastianelli Prize for the Best First Book, Winner 2013
- Vittorio de Seta Prize for the Best Documentary Film at BIF&ST, Winner 2013
- Nominated World Press Photo Joop Swart Masterclass 2012
- IPA, Deeper perspective category, Honorable Mention 2012
- Institute for Research Genocide, Honorary membership 2012
- 3rd Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism, Multimedia Award Finalist 2012
- Fotovisura Grant, Finalist 2012
- Gomma Award, Shortlisted 2012
- IPA, Feature Story category, Honorable Mention 2011
- IPA, Environmental category, Honorable Mention 2011
- IPA, People category, Honorable Mention 2011
- NPPA-Best of photojournalism, Honorable Mention 2011
- Multimedia Photojournalism Award (MEI), Honorable Mention 2011
- Sodalitas Award for Social Journalism, Finalist 2011
- Freedom to Create Prize, Highly Commended Artist 2011
- Amilcare Ponchielli Award-GRIN, Shortlisted 2011
- Connect Slide Show Contest, Finalist 2011
- Canon Young Photographers Prize, Best project, Winner 2010
- Emerging Photographer Fund- Magnum Foundation, Finalist 2010
- JFF -Blur magazine, Winner 2010
- PDNs Photo Annual, Winner 2010
- Foiano Fotografia, Winner 2009
- Fotografia-Roma, 2nd prize, 2009
- Fotoleggendo, 3rd prize, 2009
- FC Barcelona Photo Award, 2017
- 5th Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism, 2016
- Blacklie, Limes Images, 2014
- 3rd Lumix Festival for Young Photojournalism, 2012
- Metropolis, Noorderlicht Photography Foundation, 2011
- Voices of courages, Freedom to Create Prize, 2011
- The Dreamers, Foiano Fotografia, 2010
The Bosnian Identity
Author: Matteo Bastianelli
Graphic Design: Daniele Zendroni
Editing: Tiziana Faraoni
Preface: Gigi Riva
English Edition | cm. 18 x 24
118 B&W pictures
Released: October 2012
Exhibitions and screenings
2018 – Maiora Premunt Fujifilm X Vision Tour. SAL, Catania, Italy
2013 – The Bosnian Identity Tagliacozzoinfilm. Tagliacozzo, Italy
2013 – The Bosnian Identity Umbria World Fest. Foligno, Italy
2012 – A silent scream for life Bursa Photo Fest. Istanbul, Turkey
2012 – A silent scream for life Lumix Festival. Hannover, Germany
2010 – Castles made of playing-cards Collective exhibition. Abruzzo, Italy
2009 – Living quarters Collective exhibition, Casale de Merode. Rome, Italy
2009 – Home sweet homeless Collective exhibition. Avellino, Italy