Paolo Virzì • Director
"A new generation of Italian cinema was born here in La Maddalena thanks to the Solinas Award"
by Camillo De Marco
- We have met up with Paolo Virzì, who run a fun event with the public, followed by a screening of what went on behind the scenes of Magical Nights, at the Solinas Award Festival delle Storie
More than 120 producers, screenwriters, directors and film distributors met over the course of three days as part of the Solinas Award Festival delle Storie, held on the enchanting Sardinian island of La Maddalena. The festival’s second day saw director Paolo Virzì run a fun event with the public, followed by a screening of what went on behind the scenes of Magical Nights [+see also:
film profile], the latest film by the Livorno-born director, due to be world premiered at Rome Film Fest. Cineuropa interviewed him exclusively.
Cineuropa: Your next film is closely linked to the Solinas Award...
Paolo Virzì: The Solinas Award was the most important opportunity for aspiring filmmakers of my generation to get closer to great Italian cinema. The prize jury brought together some of the noblest souls of Italian cinema and there was this convivial and informal atmosphere that allowed people from very remote Italian provinces to mix with great Italian cinema. A real "new generation" of Italian cinema was born in La Maddalena during the '90s, because almost everyone came here. People were noticed, appreciated, noticed and encouraged. So, I would wholeheartedly like to endorse the Solinas Award, which was and still is one of the noblest, liveliest and freest Italian cinema institutions. And it came with a fair amount of financial power, too, because at the end of the '80s the young people who won prizes and got a mention returned home with substantial allowances, and that meant that you could do it, too. I've never participated as a competitor, but I've been in the jury, and my, what juries they were! There was Age and Scarpelli, Suso Cecchi D’Amico, Benvenuti, De Bernardi, Cristaldi, Ugo Pirro, Gillo Pontecorvo, it was essentially the sanctum sanctorum of Italian film superstars. It was a sort of Parnassus for the young people who found themselves in the presence of these great writers, an opportunity to meet and exchange ideas, as well as an opportunity for conflict and debate! It was a memorable season and I'm happy to be here to celebrate it, and in fact, my new film is somewhat related to it all.
It's as if you wanted to start from the central core of cinema, i.e. writing?
Yes, because it was important, and not just for me. For all of us who conceived this film, namely Francesca Archibugi, Francesco Piccolo and myself – Archibugi was the first winner of the Solinas Award! With a script called Sottacqua – the central idea being that cinema comes to life before going on set. It wasn’t just about what we did with the camera, it was about asking questions about what story to tell and how to tell it.
(Translated from Italian)
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