Antonello Schippa is an author of short film and music videos. As a director he begins in 2005, directing Piazza Vittorio, a music video for Fonderia, for which received the audience award at the 12th Capalbio Short Film Festival. In the following years he realized comedies such as Sick of it (Il Malato), social commitment short films such as Today I have something else to do (Oggi ho altro da fare), and Sixty Percent (Sessanta percento), a film about mental illness. His short film The Maine Coon (Il gatto del Maine) won best short film at Roma International Film Festival 2012.
iFilmFestival: Tell us a bit about your most important film so far.
AS: “The short film Dove si va da qui (Where do we go from here), which is currently still being released at international festivals, is the story of a father who develops the insane idea of killing his son before he discovers the dead body of his mother. I wouldn't know whether to consider it the most important. Certainly it was the work with the longest gestation and with many production difficulties.”
iFilmFestival: What were the key challenges making it?
AS: “It was a complex job: a co-starring child, difficult and unexpected climatic conditions, a complex theme of femicide and infanticide, the desire to create a character who is both attractive and repulsive at the same time. Finally, trying to deal with a violent and cruel theme without emphasis, with delicacy.”
iFilmFestival: What’s one aspect that you’re particularly proud of?
AS: “We had two great actors who were immediately very generous with the film and its difficulties: a very experienced one like Peppino Mazzotta and a newcomer like Riccardo Peta, a child who showed an incredible ability to handle with spontaneity, naturalness and professionalism the interpretation of a son who feels affection and at the same time rejection towards a 'master father'.”
iFilmFestival: How did you get involved in filmmaking?
AS: “As a spectator and enthusiast since childhood, watching Sergio Leone's westerns and the 1960s Italian comedy of Monicelli, Pietrangeli and Scola, without forgetting the children's films of the 1980s: Gremlins, The Goonies, Young Sherlock Holmes, Back to the Future, The Neverending Story... At university, I discovered English Free Cinema, the French New Wave, the Italian Neo-realism, the New Hollywood from the mid-1960s to the early 1980s, the Russian avant-garde... and I finally got my first video camera... So the adventure began!”
Trailer: Dove si va da qui (2019)
iFilmFestival: What new projects are you working on or are you hoping to work on in the future?
AS: “I have two feature-length screenplays that I really believe in: a noir on the theme of revenge and a 'comedy-drama' set in the world of suburban football. In both cases, once again, the central theme is the parent-child relationship, as in Dove si va da qui (Where do we go from here) and my previous short film, Il gatto del Maine (The Maine Coon).”
iFilmFestival: What role do film festivals play?
AS: “Festivals have played a very important role, because they have given me the opportunity to show my work on the big screen, both in Italy and abroad, to talk to the public, to confront and create friendships with other directors, screenwriters, actors... and to immerse myself, for a few days, in an exciting privileged bubble where you live cinema from morning until late at night.”
iFilmFestival: What is your advice to filmmakers tackling the festival circuit?
AS: “To try to accompany one's films in person, as much as possible. To be present above all in the smallest realities, which often hold the best surprises.”
iFilmFestival: How do you see the future of film?
AS: “People have always needed stories, ever since they made cave paintings. In my opinion, films in the movie theaters will live on for a long time. I don't think humanity will find a more powerful language to continue telling stories.”
iFilmFestival: Which filmmaker do you admire and why?
AS: “There are so many directors I love. Do I have to choose just one? Elio Petri, a somewhat forgotten Italian director from the 1960s and 1970s. Visionary, penetrating, non-conformist, politically courageous. L'assassino (The Assassin), Indagine su un cittadino al di sopra di ogni sospetto (Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion) and Todo Modo deeply impressed me.”
iFilmFestival: What film have you recently seen that you have admired in one way or another?
AS: “A film that impressed me in recent years was Stephen Knight's Locke. A single character driving a car and talking on the phone for 90 minutes trying to save his marriage and his dignity. It would seem an impossible challenge, but instead it is a compelling film, an existential drama that unfolds in real time, gluing the viewer in thanks to Tom Hardy's refined performance, with a script and direction that I find perfect.”
iFilmFestival: Thank you Antonello for answering our questions!
Interview by iFilmFestival on 05/07/2023.