Interview with Filmmaker Daniela Di Salvo (WECOME HOME)

WELCOME HOME played to rave reviews at the September 2021 Film Festival.

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I always thought making a science fiction film was too out of reach for me. I’m very green to the genre as a filmmaker but also as a viewer. I’m attracted to a certain type of science fiction- it has to have heart and emotion, almost as much as the technical and VFX elements. This seemed daunting to me, so I knew I had to at least try. Also, one filmmaker I consider a mentor for me is Brit Marling and I think she fuses these 2 aspects in her science fiction (The OA, Sound of My Voice ), beautifully. So as a nod to her and her incredible work, I thought I would give it a go!

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

It took approximately 3.5 months

3. How would you describe your short film in two words!?

Two juxtaposing words – Unsettling and hopeful.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Overall, editing was challenging-the VFX and the toll it took on my computer believe it or not. If you’re editing a detailed 3D spaceship, make sure you have the best graphics card you can get!

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was honestly the coolest thing I’ve ever experienced so far as a filmmaker. I actually got emotional! It was just so incredible to hear these strangers speak so thoughtfully about my film. Especially, the one audience member who mentioned the different perspective the film takes on alien abduction and it being welcomed into his life. I can’t express enough how I loved getting feedback. It was incredible.

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

Oh boy…it’s been an ignored or rather unsupported life long passion of mine-I just didn’t know how to go about pursuing it until about 4 years ago.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

There’s probably a lot of “guilty pleasure” films I won’t mention, so one recent film that I’ve watched repeatedly, whether in its entirety or just certain scenes is “Portrait of a Lady on Fire” . It’s just incredible.

8. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway, what are your feelings of the submission platform from a filmmaker’s perspective?

It’s great-simple and fast from setting up your profile with all your films and key images etc. to the submission process. It’s all very user friendly!

9. What is your favourite meal?

Oh man, the hardest question! I’ll go with meatloaf and mashed potatoes, with another side of gnocchi with a fresh tomato sauce. And a meal isn’t complete without dessert so I’ll add a butter tart. Is that cheating?

10. What is next for you? A new film?

I have about 4 different films in my head right now…but I just finished shooting a documentary about the Italian tradition of making tomato sauce in the backyard. Editing will start next month so keep an eye out for it!

By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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