I am an Italian documentary filmmaker focused on social impact stories. I don’t believe in borders. I love food.
When did you fall in love with writing (your defining moment)?
I started writing in middle school, I wanted to be a director and I an idea at the time of me directing a film with Robert De Niro being the bad guy. It was a sort of action movie with a romantic love story in it. I still have the notebook with some written pages of that script.
What defines a good story?
A think as long as you can empathize with what’s told on the screen, that’s the secret. We all go through a different range of emotions and we might not be all superheroes that are able to fly, but we are all living miracles so we all feel and experience things or events that can be reproduced through fictional characters or shared through non fictional stories. If we are moved by somebody’s else story is because we are all able to feel.
What drew you to social impact stories to tell/document?
I first discovered I loved documentaries attending film festivals. I met my mentor at a film festival and I was blown away by all his traveling stories filming around the world. I think filmmaking is an amazing way to make people discover and let them know about places, events and people that they wouldn’t know about otherwise. So if we are talking about things that matter like human rights, women empowerment, environmental issues, children’s rights and more people can be aware of these important facts, then it is already a step ahead. I love the fact that through documentaries that talk about important social impact issues, there have been movements that have created awareness and activated change. For example from my Vimeo statistics, I have seen that the trailer of my documentary Get Together Girls has been seen in over 120 countries. Maybe somebody got inspired to create the same project told in the documentary somewhere else. The thing is you never know who is watching and what escalates in them to bring the message to a wider perspective.
What is the first story you ever wrote?
My first script was officially “My First Thanksgiving”, inspired by the very first Thanksgiving I spent with my UCSB roommate Rend and her family. It was a mix of Iraqui and American festivities. I love when two cultures come together and they embrace each other’s elements like that. So I wrote a script about it. It was a comedy.
What movies or stories inspire your creativity?
I watch a lot of documentaries. And especially since I am part of the Social Impact Media Awards committee for 5 years, I get to see more than 300 documentaries in this time of the year. It is unbelievable how many stories inspire me. From anywhere. Again, as long as the human being empathize with what they see on the screen, we can all be inspired, moved, touched by a story.
Do you use writing software? If so what do you use?
I used to write on Final Draft, but I now love Pages. Honestly though, I think it’s really more about writing, it doesn’t matter where you write… Just let the creativity flow, even on a random piece of paper…
What are common myths about being a successful screenwriter?
I think sometimes we get stuck on rules and books and how other people tell you do things. I think everyone has to find their own method. Originality and a unique perspective are the key. So yes, it’s important to read screenwriting books and read scripts, but that doesn’t mean you have to follow the exact same thing. It’s the same in filming or editing. As long as you find your own style and you get your message across, then there is your path!
What’s next for you?
I’m filming my second feature length documentary called Street Poets. I’m following three young men and former gang members who met their mentor in juvenile detention camp a while back through a poetry workshop. Poetry saved their lives then and it is still helping them now figuring their lives as obstacles still arise. An amazing story of brotherhood and community. A woman telling a mans story. Two years in the making and probably another two ahead of me.
How can we keep up with you?
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