Faber Navalis


Faber Navalis

“Faber navalis” is the Latin for “boatbuilder”: words in an ancient language for describing an ancient profession. This film is an experiment in autobiographical ethnography, in which the boatbuilder-protagonist of the film is also the filmmaker: a combination of aesthetics and ethnography, which attempts to transmit the state of mind of a shipwright at work on the restoration of an old wooden ship.

Maurizio Borriello

Born in 1974 in Naples, Italy, Maurizio Borriello is a boatbuilder, filmmaker and independent researcher in cultural anthropology. After graduating in Asian and African Languages and Civilizations he moved to Indonesia, where he had a teaching assignment at the University of Jakarta. In those years he carried out a Visual Anthropology research project, resulting in the documentary film Indonesian Cinema.
After the 2004 Tsunami he worked as a volunteer, rebuilding some fishing boats destroyed by the seaquake. Since then his interest shifted to the study of coastal communities, boatbuiding technology and transmission of knowledge. He has spent much time in boatyards working as an apprentice boatbuilder in Tsunami-hit countries, Scandinavia, and the Mediterranean.
In the last four years he has been working as a wooden ship restorer at the Norwegian Maritime Museum. He is also designing an appropriate and versatile technology, which attempts to improve traditional boatbuilding, believing in the potential key role of the boats to eliminate poverty and reduce isolation, improving rural access and mobility through the development of rural water transport.


Indonesian Cinema, 2004
Faber Navalis, 2016


Film Details:

Norway/ Italy, 2016, 30’
no dialogues
Director & Writer:
Maurizio Borriello
Maurizio Borriello
Director of Photography:
Maurizio Borriello
Editors: Maurizio Borriello,
Mauro Milanese
Maurizio Borriello