Film Interview 2021

Riccardo Servini
A Space In Time
riccardoservini.com 
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A SPACE IN TIME is an award-winning candid, lyrical, intimate portrait of one family’s struggle to transcend a fatal muscle wasting disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which in turn becomes an unlikely celebration of the disabled life, the life cut short by rare disease. 

 

A film by Nick Taussig & Riccardo Servini.
 

Hi Riccardo, thanks for talking to The New Current, how have you been keeping during these strange Covid times? 

 

Hello! So glad to be chatting with you! As I'm sure is true for most people, this past year has been a rollercoaster, but I'm hopeful about where we're headed now.

 

Has this time been offering you any new creative opportunities or inspiration?

 

Definitely. I've been watching a lot of amazing, inspiring documentaries and have had the luxury of time to really think about what I would like to do creatively. It especially made me think more about how art can be a true vehicle for change. 

 

Congratulations on the cinematic release of your feature documentary A Space In Time, after everything that has happened how does it feel to see your film up on the big screen at Picturehouse Cinemas? 

 

Thank you! It's both an exciting as well as daunting feeling. We never dared to imagine a cinema release while we were making the film, so it's a truly wonderful development and I hope it helps the film be seen by more people. 

 

You co-directed A Space In Time with Nick Taussig and you both have already won multiple awards including Best Director at Nottingham International Film Festival, did you imagine you would get this type of response to your film?

 

The film started off very, very small so I wasn't 100% we would reach an audience outside of the Duchenne community. But I was hopeful that the huge love and dedication everyone involved put into this film would mean it could connect with people on a larger scale. It's been wonderful seeing some of the reactions and reviews so far. 

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"We made a big effort to make a film you wouldn't normally see in this space and I hope that people ask themselves some of the questions I asked myself about life and disability but also that it inspires hope in them."

What was the experience like for you co-directing this film and working with Nick, and how important is the collaborative nature of filmmaking when working on a documentary like this?

 

Working with Nick was incredibly rewarding. He has had a huge impact on my life over the years making this film. The collaborative side of this project was crucial, the trust he put in me to be a part of telling his family's story was truly humbling and I have such huge respect for him and everyone who contributed to this film. 

 

Did you know much about Duchenne muscular dystrophy before you started filming?

 

I did not. When I first met Nick I had never heard of DMD but once I learned about the condition and his family, all I immediately wanted to do was help. 

 

What were the biggest challenges you faced making A Space In Time? 

 

For me personally, it was the emotional factor. When I first joined the project, Nick and his wife Klara had already shot a lot of mobile phone footage so I spent time delving into their lives, immersing myself in hours of footage, and trying to get my head around this extraordinary situation they were in. It took months just for me to settle myself emotionally so that Nick and I could decide exactly how we wanted to present this story. 

 

Now that you can be reflective, what would you say would be the most valuable lesson you have taken away from making A Space In Time?

 

A line from the film that has really stuck with me was by Dr Jon Rey-Hastie who has Duchenne and is one of the amazing contributors to the film. He referenced the social model of disability so succinctly when he said  "you are more disabled by your environment and society than your actual condition" I believe if people really think about that, then it can change the way we as a society view and treat disability. 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking? 

 

I would say I have always had a passion for storytelling but I did not realise until my 20's that filmmaking was a thing I could get involved in.  But here we are 15 years later and I have never looked back. 

 

How much has your approach to your work changed since you started off in the industry?

 

I think I have realised over time how important fostering long term relationships in this industry is. I understand the transformative power of art more and the various different ways it can be used.

A lot of amazing, talented people came together through love to create this film and to elevate it. We couldn't have done it without them.

 

And finally, what do you hope audiences will take away from A Space In Time?

 

When putting this film together it was always my aim for the audience to go on a similar journey that I went on while making it. We made a big effort to make a film you wouldn't normally see in this space and I hope that people ask themselves some of the questions I asked myself about life and disability but also that it inspires hope in them.