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The Book of Shadows


live action & animation

Director: Andrea Aste
Voices Over: Irving Bell & Arturo Brachetti
Script & Animation: Andrea Aste
Editing & Special Effects: Andrea Aste
Music: Giorgio Boffa
Language: English

Running Time 1h 25’
Italy, 2015

The Book of Shadows is a multimedia project I have created as an artistic answer to the question "who invented the Tarot?” I imagined a visionary parallel world revolving around a mysterious manuscript and a deck of Tarot cards, obscure works of a fictional Alchemist. It is an adventure in a land of dangers, mysteries and untold truths, where alchemy, magic and science are intertwined in secret ciphers and cunning plots, all on a background of ancient struggles between occult powers.

The pivotal point of the project is the mockumentary: “The Book of Shadows”. It’s an historical thriller revolving around the mystery of the manuscript and the tarot created by the Alchemist.


Philosophy, history and science are intermingled with fictional facts, invented arcane references and symbols, citations of esoteric passages from fabricated manuscripts, all of which are used to create an illusion of authenticity and truthfulness. The narration is accompanied by sensationalized newspaper articles, commentary and arguments by fictional cultural intellectuals, logicians, archaeologists and art historians, etc...

The Book of Shadows Trailer


London, 2010. After centuries of being hidden away, an obscure manuscript along with a pack of tarot cards, both written in a mysterious unknown alphabet, are brought to light. CCB History attempts to unveil their secret presenting the most accurate and complete documentary every filmed about this controversial subject, with the contribution of eminent experts: art historians, philosophers, expert in military cyphers and codes, logicians, historians and occult experts.


With the special participation of
Prof. Roger Scruton writer and philosopher, Oxford University, UK
Dr. Augustus Casely-Hayford, School of Oriental and African Studies, London University, UK
Mary Greer, writer, teacher and tarot reader
Arturo Brachetti, in the role of the supervillain.

Creating the film took me a long year! I was alone taking care of every single aspects of The Book of Shadows. I worked with a very limited budget, so every scene was filmed in my little studio in Turin, often with a  green screen. It was intoxicating to create the different props required, studying the lights and the set to transform a little mansard in a office, a chemical laboratory, a professor’s studio, etc… The Book of Shadows had a great success, many believed the mockumentary was a …real documentary! I achieved my goal making people reflect on the role of our fantasy in interpreting and shaping our own reality.

Click here to discover more about the hybrid novel and tarot

Technique: live action and stop motion animations

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