Interview with Filmmaker Daniele Bonarini (LIKE A STAR)

Daniele Bonarini’s short film, LIKE A STAR, played to rave reviews at the May 2016 Documentary Short Film Festival. 

Interview with Daniele Bonarini:

Matthew Toffolo: What motivated you to make this film?

Daniele Bonarini: For many years, i work primarily with people with physical and intellectual disabilities. I grew a lot as a director and film-maker and I was able, with my works, to enter the international film festival circuit. Attend a film festival no about disability, was a great achievement because I could bring Tiziano in a neutral context, and especially him to live an incredible experience like a trip in America. For this reason I decided to make a documentary of his journey, it is part of an experience that lasts for many years

MT: From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

DB: Our projects are very long. To make a short film takes several months because of the difficulty of the guys to get into the characters. As I said above, the trip to Texas is part of a journey along a few years and only now beginning to see good results

MT: How would you describe your short film in two words!?

DB:Like a star is the opportunity of a person, cornered by the company, to express their potential and live a other words..Like a star is like a dream!

MT: What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

DB: Hard to find those who believe in our project. Or rather, many support us and believe in us but then economically hardly anyone believes that these special actors can make good cinema products. Travel expenses and for the realization of the short film were self-financed. This is one of the complicated aspects, in addition to having to still manage a person with a disability who is never simple!

MT: What were your initial reactions when watching the Toronto audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

DB: It’s really great to see people on the other side of the world who look at your work. Above all it is amazing to see how they understood and appreciated that the project is ahead of Poti Pictures. When the blonde girl points out my words (the Thin Line Film Festival) “What people can do …” I think my project is all there and it’s nice to see that people have it figured out.

MT: How did you come up with the idea for this short film?

DB: The moment we decided to accompany Tiziano in Texas was spontaneous take the camera and shoot every moment of his trip. Like a star is only one part of what he has lived in that week. He is an amazing guy and he makes show in the States!

MT: What film have you seen the most in your life?

DB: There are many films that I love relate to continuous, one of these is “The green mile”( but i prefer the book!)I believe there is good in all of us and I believe that everyone has a potential that can give to essentially this is my job.

Try to show what a person can to to do and not what cannot to do.

MT: What is next for you? A new film?

DB: We are working on a short film with 26 children aged 9 years together with 6 of our “special actors.” So, the real project is the inclusion and fun. We have many jobs scheduled, in each one there is a guy with disabilities showing his acting skills

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video of the Short Film: 


Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go to for more information and to submit your work to the festival.

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