Where does your passion for cinema come from? How did you know it was the right path for you?
Since my teenage years, I became interested in the audiovisual field, particularly in reportage, and I made several reports and investigations for some local tv stations. After studying abroad for a small period, I made my first documentary on the feast of St. Sebastian, patron saint of Mistretta, at the age of 16. After that experience, I decided to enroll in the reportage class at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia.
What roadblocks did you face along your path?
Certainly one of the first biggest obstacles was being able to relate and interact with reality to document certain events or facts. Attending Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia was really helpful: I’ve learned to stimulate my curiosity and to constantly ask questions.
How did you feel about documenting the story of Biagio Conte, the protagonist of your film “The Francis of Palermo”?
When I was a child my mom used to take me to the Missione di Speranza e Carità (the Church Shelter) to donate things that might be useful. On those occasions I met Friar Biagio, but only with time and particularly during the shooting of the movie I perceived with greater inner awareness that I was privileged to know him and “bring back” the story of a person, a missionary who spent his entire life for the last, the dispossessed and the invisibles of the city of Palermo. A great man of our time, who genuinely embodied the founding values of Christianity and who in silence struggled every day with substance and spirit of sacrifice to build a more inclusive and more just world. On that occasion I tried to learn how to become last among the last.
What or who has inspired the most your development as a filmmaker?
Definitely Gianfranco Rosi. I remember right around the time when I was trying to figure out what path to take in the world of filmmaking, I was enchanted by Fuocoammare.
How do you feel about our Red Couch platform, designed for young filmmakers and their experimentation?
I don’t know of any other platform that is dedicated to young people. When I was first told about this project, I immediately wanted to be part of it. A space where you can experiment and at the same time have visibility deserves so much attention from the institutions as well.