top of page

Evelin and the City of Suitcases: An Interview with Aurora Ovan

Please tell us about the projects you worked on before making ‘Evelin and the City of Suitcases’. How did you start, and how did you learn to make films?

My journey with storytelling started a long time ago, when I was 7 years old. As soon as I learned how to write, I’ve started writing stories: at the age of 9 I wrote my first long story, a fantasy of about 150 pages. At 14 years old, I’ve published my first fantasy book for young adults called “My Fate - Clieh, The power of the Earth”. After that, I proceeded with self-taught photography and video making until, at 19 years old, I won a scholarship for the filmmaking program at the New York Film Academy in New York. From 2015 to 2017 I’ve studied filmmaking and once I got back home, to Italy, I gained experience as a writer-director and producer of narrative music videos, commercials and short films. My first feature script won the AnanianMattador in Trieste (Italy) in 2021 and in 2024 the same project has been selected at the Brussels Fantastic International Film Festival. In 2023 I wrote-directed Evelin and the City of Suitcases, produced with my director of photography Davide Nicolicchia and narrated by Carlo Valli, one of the most famous voice actors in Italy. While Evelin makes the festival run, in early 2024 I’ve directed an experimental short for the young and promising Italian production company Incipit Film and in the same year we’ll film my proof of concept for my first feature.

Tell us about ‘Evelin and the City of Suitcases’. How do you describe it?

Evelin and the City of Suitcases is an ambitious and imaginative fantasy tale that explores a magical kingdom where the hopes and dreams of young orphans are stored in suitcases once they come of age. It has whimsy, humour, and intrigue, all leading up to a darker story in true Fairy Tale fashion. Evelin was born from an old directorial exercise that I wrote back in New York in 2016 and now it aims to become a 8-episodes mini series.

Please tell us about your favorite filmmakers.

Among my favourite filmmakers I can certainly name Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her incomparable writing, the Daniels for their breaking-rules imagination, Roger Deakins for his timeless vision, and Steven Spielberg for… well, he’s Steven Spielberg! The list is long and hopefully I’ll be able to add my name to it one day! But if I had to choose the one and only writer-director-producer that inspires me everyday I’d say: Nature!

If you were given a good budget, what would be your ideal project?

Depends how good the budget is, eheh! Being in love with stories of genres like fantasy, sci-fi, dystopias, budget is of course a very important step for the production, in order to create brand new worlds with care and good resources. If now I could be supported by a strong budget, I’ll certainly use it to make my first international feature film (or why not, Evelin series too!).

Describe how you would ensure that production is on schedule. What steps would you take?

The challenges are the only thing that are always on time on set. In my 10 years experience, I think that the most important thing that I’ve learned is how to constantly behave solutionminded and not problem-minded. Anything can happen on set: bad weather, uncontrollable events, not so happy surprises. What I can do as a writer-director that also knows the challenges of production, is to have a strong vision that can be resilient any time. There are a lots of ways to reach to an objective and it’s crucial to find the positive sprint in an obstacle. Having ready plan B, C, D and also E is my way to be ready for any inconvenient. And of course, every time that is possible, with a smile: a peaceful set is a solution-driven set.

What was the hardest part of making ‘Evelin and the City of Suitcases’.

Having time. When you produce a short film by yourself, the budget is always a problem if you want to reach a certain level of quality, and with a restricted budget you have less time at your disposal. Evelin was shot in 2 days and half, with a lot of obstacles caused by the weather that kept changing every hour and the availability of the location (a private historic home from the year 1200 for which we needed a particular care). We had so many obstacles that weren’t in our control that me and Francesca, the leading actress, had to partially rewrite some scenes together while on set (that never happened to me in 10 years!). Even though we had these challenges, I’m really happy with the result (or am I happy especially because we overcame those problems all together?).

If possible, tell us about your next work. What plans do you have for your future work?

Of course! While Evelin makes her year through the festivals of the world, this October 2024 I’ll shoot my next eco-dystopic sci-fantasy short film: the proof of concept for my first feature film! The short will be completed in January 2025 and ready for festivals 2025-2026, hopefully in the meantime we’ll have some good news from Evelin mini series and while we enter my feature film development I’d really love to direct something written by someone different than myself.


bottom of page