Tell us about yourself. How did you become an artist?
The first thing I ever wanted to be was a lawyer, God knows why. Around 14 years old I regained my mental health and decided to be a filmmaker. After all, I loved movies and I was good at writing. So I started writing screenplays. It took me five years, but at 19 years old, after my last year of High School, I did my first short movie with my best friend Giovanni Brunelli (who’s also the protagonist of Eunuco): It’s called Flusso Di Elettroni and it’s about a teenage love triangle, but I don’t recommend watching it. The experience of shooting that awful mess actually made me change my mind, I didn’t want to make movies anymore. That was until the 17th of November 2020, when I had the idea for my first feature film, called Mamiza, about a psychotic mother imprisoning her young daughter at home. Ever since then, I’ve been doing project after project non-stop.
What was your first job in the art field?
My first job ever on a movie set was as a Set-Runner on a couple of student productions in Berlin. Working there made me realize how much I love working in this industry regardless of the role I have in it (I could be directing or cleaning the actor’s toilets). I had the best experience of them all on the set of Ambrosia, a short horror film about witches giving birth, shot by FilmArche’s students. To Robert, the director: I hope you are reading these, as you still have my shirt and jacket. When are you gonna give them back to me?
What makes you want to tell stories? In other words, what are the themes/issues you want to incorporate into your work?
Mostly sex and sex-related puns.
Please tell us about your vision and your method of approaching a new project?
I already have my go-to crew of trusted technicians. So the only search I have to do is the one for the actors. They don’t have to be professionals, sometimes it’s even better if they aren’t (less Stanislavskij bullshit to deal with). The important thing is that they as individuals have something in common with the characters. As for the performance, I’ll get something good out of anyone who’s relaxed and trusts me.
Who are your filmmaking influencers? What are the films that were influential for you?
Two of my favorite directors of all time are Lloyd Kaufman and Marco Ferreri. Both have such grotesque visions that the images of their films are still printed in my mind forever and I’d be surprised if there were no echoes of them in my works. In particular Kaufman’s Terror Firmer and Ferreri’s The Big Feast.
How do you think the industry is changing? How has COVID affected independent filmmaking/creation?
Actually, all of my filmmaking experiences have been after the COVID pandemic, so I’m probably not the right person to answer that question.
What advice would you give to aspiring artists? What are some of the things they must follow/avoid?
First of all, start taking your craft seriously. Nobody else will do it for you.
Second, make sure the actors that have to perform sex scenes are comfortable with it before shooting the movie. I remember reading about Kaufman’s struggle with actresses refusing to get naked just before shooting in his book Everything I Need To Know About Filmmaking I Learned From The Toxic Avenger, and it saved me a lot of trouble on Eunuco.
Do you think films/stories can bring about a change in the world?
For me it is the other way around: stories are told by people. Until people change, stories will remain the same. It is really the people we should focus on.
What do you think people like to watch these days? Has the pandemic changed people's taste?
I don’t think of taste as something fixed. I think it has to be continuously re-discovered and challenged. When it comes to me, I currently enjoy dark comedies that widen the boundaries of what should be funny. As for people in general, I have no clue.
Please tell us about your upcoming projects.
I am currently looking for someone to produce my next short movie Linda Melinda:
It’s a romantic comedy shot in black and white about a restaurant’s customer falling in love with the waitress, who has Tourette’s syndrome.
If anyone reading is interested in this project, you can write me an email at my address: firstname.lastname@example.org