Arcosanti - An Urban Laboratory in the Arizona Desert.

[FILM] The Vision of Paolo Soleri by Lisa Scafuro

The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert

A documentary film by Lisa Scafuro

Over ten years in the making, the film's cast and crew included EMMY Award winning Director of Cinematography, Sam Shinn, featuring on camera interviews with Jean-Michel Cousteau, architectural critic Paul Goldberger, Eric Lloyd Wright, SimCity creator Will Wright, and architect Steven Holl, including music by Andrea Bocelli and Jared Leto / Thirty Seconds To Mars. The film was world-premiered at the NEW HOPE FILM FESTIVAL on July 20, 2013 with a great audience reception.


[March 28, 2015 - Troy OH] The film will be shown at 7:30 pm at the Mayflower Arts Center,  9 West Main Street, Troy, OH 45373. tel: 937 552 5848. All seats $10. Advance tickets may be purchase through
The von Liebig Art Center
585 Park St.
Naples, Florida 34102 - See more at:
The von Liebig Art Center
585 Park St.
Naples, Florida 34102 - See more at:

[Magazine Article] The National Italian American Foundation's quaterly Ambassador Magazine features in their Winter issue an article titled "The making of the film..." (page 24-27) written by the filmmaker Lisa Scafuro.

[FACEBOOK] page with links to the Film Trailer, Music Score and more updates.


Filmbar, Phoenix AZ
San Louis Obispo Museum of Art, San Louis Obispo CA
Dallas Center for Architecture, Dallas TX
North Carolina Modernist Houses at The Full Frame Theatres, Durham NC
Cascadia Green Building Council at the Clutch - Vancouver BC, CANADA
Greenbuild International Conference and Expo 2014 - New Orleans, LA
San Diego Italian Film Festival 2014 - San Diego CA
AIA-Central Valley: Experience Architecture Week 2014, Sacramento CA
The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art’s Modernism + Film 2014, Charlotte NC
Italian Film festival at Monteal's Italian Week 2014, Montreal, CANADA
International Union of Architects,  2014 UIA World Architecture Congress, Durban South Africa
Durban International Film Festival 2014, Durban, South Africa
• Southampton Art Center, Southampton Village, New York, hosted by AIA Peconic
• Resene Architecdture and Desgn Film Festival in New Zealand - 2014 Offical Selection
• Boston International Film Festival - 2014 Official Selection
• Rooftop Architecture Film Festival at Contemporary Austin - 2014 Official Selection
• Canadian Internatinal Film Festival - 2014 Award of Excellence, Vancouver CANADA
• Environmental Film Festival at National Bulding Museum (DC) - 2014 Official Selection
• Sedona International Film Festival - 2014 Official Selection
• Sofia Independent Film Festival - 2013 Official Selection
• Architecture & Design Film Festival NYC - 2013 Official Selection
• Tribeca Cinemas - SimCity Creator Will Wright guest speaker
• The Loft Cinema, Tucson Modernism Week, Tuscon, Arizona - October 7th, 2013
• Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation hosted the Arizona premiere of the film at Taliesin West. This special        
   viewing on September 19, 2013 kicked off a weekend celebration of Soleri's life.
• New Hope Film Festival - 2013 Official Selection


"The Vision Of Paolo Soleri:  Prophet In The Desert," is a biographical documentary on the architect and environmentalist Paolo Soleri.  It is the story of an unprecedented artistic quest.  While uncovering Soleri's legacy as an architect, environmentalist, and philosopher, the film poses critical questions about mankind's future, and architecture in a world facing environmental, social, and economic crisis.

Few architects have proposed more ambitious design, and been less prone to compromise.  Though at age ninety-three years old, as he continues to work prolifically in the Arizona desert, Soleri's vision remains largely unrealized.  Given the current global crisis, Soleri's life's work has become increasingly relevant to our world dilemma, and his ideologies, prophetic.


PAOLO SOLERI:  Architect / Philosopher / Visionary
WILL BRUDER:  Architect
JEAN-MICHEL COUSTEAU:  Ocean Explore / environmentalist / Architect
PAUL GOLDBERGER:  Architectural Critic for New York Times / The New Yorker
CATHERINE HARDWICKE:  Director / Architect
STEVEN HOLL:  Architect based in New York / Beijing
ELIZABETH MOCK KESSLAR:  Frank Lloyd Wright Protégé / Museum of Modern Art Curator
CHARLES MONTOOTH:  Frank Lloyd Wright Protégé / Architect
MORLEY SAFER:  Journalist 60 Minutes
GIANCARLO & GIOVANNA SOLIMENE: Artistica Ceramica Owners in Vietri, Italy
ERIC LLOYD WRIGHT:  Architect / Frank Lloyd Wright's Grandson
WILL WRIGHT:  Simcity Computer Games Creator / Maxis


CKY "To All Of You"
BEETHOVEN "Symphony No.5 op.67 4th Movement" conducted by LEONARD BERNSTEIN
RAVEL "Piano Concerto in G 2nd Movement, Adagio Assai" with MARTHA ARGERICH
and Introducing Original Film Score by JUSTIN M. SALTER "Mercenary" 




Vietri Sul Mare (Italy), Washington DC, Berkeley, Venice Beach, Malibu and Santa Barbara CA, Cave Creek, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale and Cordes Junction AZ

LISA SCAFURO:  Producer, Writer, Director and Editor

The founder of Mona Lisa Film Productions was raised in Saddle River, NJ.  As a teenager, Scafuro attended The Art Students League of New York, and Ridgewood School of Photography.  She received a BS degree in Design Sciences from the College of Architecture at Arizona State University.

Prior to her film making debut, Scafuro began an architectural career in Philadelphia with The Kling Partnership and Ballinger Architects working with such clients as First Pennsylvania Bank and Dupont. Eventually, she returned to NYC to specialize in hospital design and construction, collaborating on projects for New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University/Presbyterian Medical Center.

After seventeen years in architecture and construction fields, Scafuro moved west to Arizona to pursue her passion for writing and ultimately film making.  Her friendship with Soleri also began at this time.  Inspired by Soleri's life's work, the idea to produce the film "The Vision Of Paolo Soleri," initially began in 1998 when Scafuro met Ken Burns at Taliesin for his unveiling of his documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright." Eventually encouraged by Burns, several years of research and delays later, the self funded project has finally come to fruition.  Throughout the film's production...the process, the individuals involved, both on camera and off.....have been a challenging, fascinating, and an inspiring journey.

Over the course of her friendship with Soleri, she established ongoing communications with leaders in government, media, academia, and business, to bring to light, Soleri's contributions to society; culminating in pursuing the City of Scottsdale, Az in a street renaming "Via Soleri" for his 85th birthday and Soleri receiving the Cooper Hewitt's 2006 National Lifetime Achievement Award. 

SAM SHINN:  Director of Cinematography

Sam Shinn is an Emmy award winning Director of Cinematography and Producer of documentaries and independent features.  His work has recently screened at the Tribeca Film Festival, South by Southwest Film Festival, and Sundance Film Festival.

Born in South Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family at the age of six.  Shinn attended Columbia University where he received a BA in Political Science and later studied filmmaking at New York University.

Beginning his film career at Globalvision in New York City, he worked on a number of programs including a PBS Frontline documentary on the arms build up of Saudi Arabia prior to the first Gulf War and a weekly program on human rights called Rights & Wrongs.  Shinn later served as producer, director of photography, and editor on Seeds of Peace, a feature length documentary broadcast on PBS.  The film also received a Silver Medal at the Charlotte International Film Festival.

In 1997, Shinn started Iron Eye Productions which is based in New York City.  Shinn has produced, photographed and edited several feature length documentaries which have been broadcast on ABC's Nightline, BBC (UK), CBS (Canada), CNN, PBS, as well as networks in Canada, Europe, and Africa.

Shinn was honored with a National Emmy Award 2000 as the producer of Children of the Plague.  Filmed in Zambia, the documentary reveals the plight of the 12 million children orphaned by the AIDS pandemic in Africa.

Recent films have premiered at Tribeca Film Festival 2006 (Dorothy Day:  Don't Call Me A Saint) and South by Southwest Film Festival 2008 (Paper Covers Rocks.)  Shinn's work has been shown on all major broadcast and cable networks, including ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, CNN, A&E, TLC, Discovery Channel, History Channel, as well as other international networks in over 75 countries.