Interview with Daniele Segre, producer of Un uccello molto serio

Daniele Segre, one of the guests at Lago Film Fest, and in charge of production for the Torino Film Commission Piemonte for ten years, producer of feature films, like Il Divo, La meglio gioventù, La solitudine dei numeri primi and TV movies, is representing Redibis Film, the film production company that made possible the realization of Dreaming Apecar, by Dario Samuele Leone and Screw – Un uccello molto serio by Lorenza Indovina. 

In Dreaming Apecar, Caterina is a 45-year-old Italian woman who becomes the caregiver of an octogenarian Romanian. The plot completely turns the tables on a stereotype. Can you tell us something about how the project came about?

Daniele Di Cicco and me founded Redibis Film in 2012 and this was our first project. I often meditate on stories about changes in society, I have always been very interested in this topic, and I had the idea to reverse this stereotype of caregivers, who are usually people coming from Eastern Europe, and I asked the director: "Why don't we think of an Italian caregiver who assists an elderly Romanian?" The idea did not come out of the blue, but it was confirmed by data reported in the newspapers on how the economic crisis had reversed certain situations. In a few months, the idea has been developed by the director and screenwriter Chiara Nicola and then we proceeded in the realization of the short movie, involving a Romanian production company that has helped us in the search for the actor, Mircea Andrescu, who won the Camera d 'Or at Cannes a few years ago and along with Lorenza Indovina we set up a project we are very proud of.

Dreaming Apecar had deeply moved our audience and it has also received an excellent feedback from Cannes Film Festival. Do you think the festivals today might be considered a gearwheel in film industry?

Absolutely yes, they are a strong element in the entire film industry. Festivals are an opportunity for buying and selling movies and put people in touch. In terms of numbers, perhaps there are too many festivals, in Italy. Lago Film Fest, for example, has managed to carve out a strong space in the Italian festivals scenario, thanks to the quality of the products that are offered every year. Speaking of short movies festival, they can be a springboard that allows new authors to enter the film industry in its own right, because short movies are not only an artistic exercise, but also products that can generate incomes, and this is very important. 

Screwed – Un uccello molto serio, directed by Lorenza Indovina, is a story of betrayal that seems like so many others … but it is not! It is taken from a short story of the same name written by the Italian author Niccolò Ammaniti. Can you tell us something about how this project came about? 

The project started on the set of Dreaming Apecar: Lorenza proposed her script from Ammaniti’s short story. We supported the idea with enthusiasm, and we created this very funny comedy, which shows the humour of Ammaniti. The film left us very satisfied, even abroad, and now we hope that we can make a feature film out of it. 

Regarding your job as a producer, you and Di Cicco have been working in cinema since the 90s, with production companies that have launched artists such as Sorrentino. In your experience, has anything changed throughout these years? And what effects did this change have in the way of production? 

Yes, the market was completely shocked: public funding has significantly decreased, but on the other hand, it has given rise to new ways of financing, such as opening co-productions, which is not only bound to the need to seek funds abroad, but also gives us the possibility to leave the territory and look beyond its borders. In addition, tax incentives now allow the private sector to invest, by getting a production tax credit that reduces the risk of investments by the private sector. So, if government intervention in the Nineties covered 60-70% of the movie budget, now public intervention covers just 15% of the movie budget, so basically everything changed. It's also true that this has allowed producers to be creative, which is good, considering the drop in quality of the Italian cinema in the Nineties. Fortunately things have changed and in recent years actors and authors of highest level have emerged. 

Interview by Manuela Morana*


*Every day Cineuropa Shorts, in collaboration with Nisimazine and Lago Film Fest (18-26 July), offers you film reviews and interviews made in Lago by the brilliant Nisimazine’s team of young journalists.

23 July 2014, by Nisimazine