Lorenzo Cioffi • Producer
“Berlinale Talents, a documentary co-production opportunity”
by Camillo De Marco
- Interview with young Neapolitan producer Lorenzo Cioffi, who is participating in the platform for emerging filmmakers at the Berlinale
This year’s Berlin Film Festival, which will be held from 11 to 16 February, will host the 14th edition of Berlinale Talents, the platform for emerging talent in film and fictional TV. Among the 250 industry professionals from 71 countries are some Italians: director Michele Vannucci (I Was a Dreamer [+see also:
interview: Alessandro Borghi
interview: Michele Vannucci
film profile]), sound designers Piernicola Di Muro (Chlorine [+see also:
interview: Sara Serraiocco
film profile]) and Davide Favargiotti, screenwriter Carlo Salsa (Arianna [+see also:
interview: Carlo Lavagna
film profile]), director and editor Cristina Picchi, producer of Iranian origin based in London Ali Mansuri, director Luigi Campi, who works in the United Kingdom and Greece, documentary maker Victoria Fiore,who is also based in London, and director and producer Lorenzo Cioffi. Cineuropa caught up with Cioffi to talk about his participation in the Berlin workshops: his latest production with Ladoc.it is The Nature of Things [+see also:
film profile], and was awarded the Corso Salani Prize at the Trieste Film Festival 2017.
Cineuropa: What’s your frame of mind going into Berlinale Talents?
Lorenzo Cioffi: I’d heard a lot of good things about Berlinale Talents from Italian and European colleagues, and filled out an application form last summer. I’m bringing projects with me but I’m participating above all to build on my relationships with other European producers to increase international co-production opportunities. It’s the only way to get funding for creative documentaries, which it would otherwise be impossible to make. It will also give me the chance to attend master classes and participate in panel discussions with highly skilled professionals.
What projects does Ladoc.it have in the pipeline?
We have two documentaries currently under development and we’re already working with Ernesto Pagano, the director of a documentary we also produced, Napolislam (winner of the Biografilm Italia Award 2015). We’re about to start post-production on his new film.
The Nature of Things, the documentary about the “final days” of a man affected by ALS, has been received very well. Is it going to be released in theatres?
It had its international premiere at Locarno, following which it participated in a number of other festivals all around the world. It will be released in theatres in Italy at the end of March with a MovieDay.it tour, after an official screening in the Senate. Myself and the director of the film, Laura Viezzoli, have a lot of shared experiences: we trained together and have worked on lots of projects together. When we started working on this film, three years ago, it was a natural choice to have her direct and me produce. Laura was a source of constant support throughout the trials and tribulations that come with producing a documentary. Ending up at Locarno with it was very satisfying.
Distributing documentaries is only possible these days by organising events to go with them, or rather a screening and a meeting with the writers...
Of course. With rare exceptions, I find it difficult to get a documentary released in 20 or 30 theatres at the same time for one or more weeks, as is the case with fictional films. Instead, I get the impression that it’s becoming more common to treat screenings like tours, moving from city to city with them. It’s an interesting concept because it allows the people who made the film to meet the audience, which is great and very satisfying, and allows the film to exist in the first place, to get a public debate going and interact with the community. Of course taking a film on tour has significant costs. The financial return is minimal, but it brings great professional satisfaction and boosts the image of the film.
(Translated from Italian)
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