Endless letterpress

A feature-length film by Pablo Pivetta and Nicolas Rodriguez Fuchs

As Mark Twain once said, so might have Gutenberg: ‘The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated’. Hardly a day goes by but a new letterpress workshop opens somewhere in the world. And, surprise, surprise, they are usually run by young people, from all sorts of backgrounds and for all sorts of reasons: poetry lovers and aspiring fine press publishers, technological dropouts, art students who have discovered that there is life after the Mac, hot-metal and type geeks, typographers suffering from digital fatigue, and people who just love the smell of ink and the sound of machinery.

Less common are full-length feature films about young people in thrall for the first time to the sirens of letterpress and old technology. But thanks to a crowdfunding project, Endless letterpress, now tells just such a story. Set in the suburbs of Buenes Aires (Argentina), the film (in Spanish, subtitleld in English) tells the tale of a group of young peoples’ encounter with a dying trade and a technique with endless potential.

After four years of preparation and shooting, the two first-time film-makers are now organising their own distribution in the hope that it will be shown in printing museums, collective workshops and anywhere else that people are thinking at the same time of the past and the future.

The film was made by Los Ultimos, aka Pablo Pivetta, graphic designer, photographer, short documentary maker and type collector, and Nicolas Rodriguez Fuchs, who studied graphic design and film at the Universidad de Buenos Aires (FADU-UBA) before working on post-production and animation for TV series and commercials.

You can see the trailer here.

The film has been submitted to various festivals who require the exclusivity until the decision of the jury, so it won’t actually be available for screening before 2019. But if you want to keep in touch you can follow the Los Ultimos project on Facebook.


The scenario

Facing the deterioration of traditional machines and the advance of new technologies, printers are closing their workshops. At the same time, a group of young people rediscovers the greatest technical innovation in the history of the written word: letterpress printing. But it will be difficult for them to learn the trade since it has always been passed down from master to apprentice – and they are outsiders. The last pressman in the country will be in charge of teaching them so that this ancient technique can withstand the passage of time.

Running Time: 68′
Aspect Ratio: 16:9
HD colour
Sound: 5:1
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English