AGGRAPPATI A ME (HOLD ON TO ME) was the winner of BEST DIRECTION Feb. 2022 DIVERSITY FEEDBACK Film Festival.
1. What prompted you to make this film?
Instinct, first of all. It was a time when I wasn’t looking for new stories to write and after attending a festival as a juror, on my way home, I started imagining a young man and a little girl walking through the deserted streets of Rome. Having a sister with Down syndrome, Serena, I began to associate this story with the possibility of telling something about her and talking about some clichés that are often associated with this syndrome.
2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you make this movie?
About a year and a half, in April 2017 the idea came and shortly after the script. The hardest part was then to find producers who believed in the project and then form the right cast, especially the right face for little Alice for whom I met about 50 girls. It was a great experience! After 4 months of rehearsals between me, the little girl and Ludovico Tersigni (the actor who played Filippo) we arrived in May 2018 on the set and in September the film was ready!
3. How would you describe your film in two words !?
The Ballad of the Brave
4. What was the biggest obstacle you encountered in completing this film?
The two biggest obstacles were: 1) finding enough money to make a high quality product; 2) prepare Miriam (the actress who played Alice) as best as possible for the work to be done and to remain herself even on a set with twenty crew members around her.
5. What were your initial reactions when you saw the audience speaking about your movie in the feedback video?
Exciting. Once you get to the final stage of the work you are exhausted. I remember that the first official short film festival was in a theater in Rome. I took a bus from Basilicata where I was shooting a TV series as assistant director because I absolutely wanted to be there and on that occasion we also won our first prize but seeing how the public observed the images, how they laughed or cried was something unique. Even more exciting then when the short went abroad because I wanted to understand if even outside my country the intentions and emotions of the short were universal in their own way.
Watch the Audience Feedback Video:
6. When did you realize you wanted to make films?
In high school I acted in a theater group in my country but I had already been writing my own stories for years. Only during high school did I really get into cinema, I saw hundreds of films and I began to understand that I felt more confident in building stories than in interpreting those of others and so the idea was to move to Rome after graduation to try this path.
7. What movie have you seen the most in your life?
Probably the Back to the Future trilogy. But I’m also the son of Tim Burton and Guillermo Del Toro. I love the figure of the freak because in part I felt and feel myself a freak and for this reason perhaps, and without really looking for it, the point of view of my stories has gradually approached those who are often on the margins or outside the society or is seen as ‘different’.
8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and others do festivals implement to satisfy you and help you improve your film production career?
Video feedback is already something wonderful. Often when you participate in remote festivals you have the perception that it is something not real. Seeing and hearing the reactions of those who saw my short was something priceless even more than the recognition in itself that you gave me, so thank you!
9. You showed up at the festival via FilmFreeway. How does yours experiences worked on the festival platform website?
Great. I have a festival distribution entrusted to a company for Italy while for abroad I totally relied on this platform with wonderful results such as a week spent in Belgium for a wonderful festival on diversity. Opportunity that I will always remember.
10. What’s your favorite meal?
Without a doubt a very good carbonara pasta!
11. What’s the next step for you? A new movie?
At the moment I am starting the pre-production of my new short film and I will soon be activating a crowfunding campaign that I hope to be able to send you because we will need all the help possible. In parallel, I have been working for two years on the film based on “Hold on to me” and which I hope to be able to realize soon because I feel the need to return to those issues because there is still a lot to say!