What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?

Screening: 11/12/2020 / 22:00h

Roberto Minervini / Italy, USA, France / 2018 / 123′

Director: Roberto Minervini
Screenplay: Roberto Minervini
Editor: Marie-Helene Dozo, Pierpaolo Filomeno
Cinematographer: Diego Romero
Sound: Amaury Auguste, Bernat Fortiana, Héléna Réveillère, Ingrid Simon
Production: Okta Film, Pulpa Entertainment, Shellac Films
Producers: Paolo Benzi, Roberto Minervini, Thomas Ordenneau, Denise Ping Lee
Starring: Judy Hill, Dorothy Hill, Michael Nelson, Ronaldo King, Titus Turner, Ashlei King, Kevin Goddman


‘What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire?’ follows the life of black men and women aiming to enlighten the toxic effects of the centuries-long racism which is still vivid through their personal stories in horrendous forms. The film brings us into a community of African Americans on the south of America, into summer 2017, when a string of brutal killing of men sent shockwaves throughout the country. The issue of race is still open in America, and this film is an intimate portrait of the lives of those who struggle for justice, dignity, and survival.


Roberto Minervini is born in 1970, in Fermo, Italy. He holds a master’s in media studies from the New School University in New York. This acknowledged director, screenplay writer, music producer and photographer based in the US is known also for spending months or years building connections and trust within communities as he films their lives. Through films, he is focusing on human rights, rights of marginalised population and various forms of discrimination. His film Stop the Pounding Heart (2013) was screened in Rotterdam and Cannes, and The Other Side (2015) was screened in the Un Certain Regard competition at Cannes.

FESTIVALS and awards

Cinema Eye Honors Award 2020 – The Unforgettables award for best actress
Docudays UA International Documentary Human Rights Film Festival 2020
International Cinephile Society Awards 2019 – ICS Award Best Picture Not Released in 2018
Istanbul International Film Festival 2019
Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 2019
Jerusalem Film Festival 2019
Millennium Docs Against Gravity 2019
Munich Film Festival 2019 – Fritz-Gerlich-Preis award for director
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival 2019
London Film Festival 2018 – Grierson Award for Documentary Film
Mar del Plata Film festival 2018 – Best Director, Best Actress, Best Editor
La Roche-sur-Yon International Film Festival 2018 – Grand Prix de Jury Compétition internationale
Seville European Film Festival 2018
Venice Film Festival 2018 – nagrada UNICEF, Soundrack Stars Award – Special Mention for Best Actress, Premio Vivere da Sportivi Award
Viennale 2018 – Standard Readers’ Jury Prize