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Leandro Picarella
33' Venice International Film Critics' Week
Sic@Sic 2018

A town devastated by an earthquake is the set chosen by a troupe to shoot a film about Greek statesman Pericles and his “Epitaph”; a manifesto about the concept of democracy. However, a bureaucratic fate decides otherwise and the town square must be defended.


A story about uncivil coexistence, about the primacy of the image and about a bunch of ruins that, by becoming a symbol, remain ruins.


Hey Leandro, thanks for talking to TNC, how is everything going?

Fine, thanks. My troupe and I are incredibly glad to spend these few but wonderful days in Venice. I wish I could say the same for you. 

What does it mean for you to be screening Epicentro at the 2018 SIC@SIC?

I'm still trying to figure it out. It means a lot to me to compete and confront with so many talented filmmakers. And then, it’s a great opportunity to show our work to the international public coming to Venice.

Your film is being shown in competition, does that add any extra pressure on you?

I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t a little bit stressed out before the screening. But, now, after receiving the first positive feedbacks, I feel more comfortable. And now, I am just trying to take the best from this experience. 

Tell me a little bit about Epicentro, how did the film come about?

We had been discussing the subject for a long time before coming to an end. We were asked about talking about the Pericles’ Funeral Oration, in particular, its famous speech to Athenians. It was an interesting challenge for us, especially at the current moment, to talk about democracy without being rhetoric or too much didascalic. 


What has been the most challenging scene for you to film?

Probably the last one. Our main character Roberto Latini (who plays the role of Pericles) was asked to scream at the other actors, who didn't know what was going to happen. I really like that scene because you can read the surprise on their face. 

Have you always had a passion for filmmaking?

I always loved cinema, but I realized that was my destiny just a few years ago. I always found in arts a way to express myself. First through music, then through poetry. Then, a beloved person said to me I had the glimpse. And I discovered that I'm really comfortable with telling stories through a camera. 

How much as your style and approach to your films changed since your debut short?

I don't think it's really changed. They are all different pieces of my own poetry. Of course, I'm experiencing different approaches and subjects, but we could say my works are related to each other in some ways. 

"He reminds Athenians their innermost values, some time lost under cover of disappointment."


How would you describe Epicentro in three words?

Ironic. Choral. No frills. (But now are four, sorry!) 

And finally, what do you hope people will take away from this film?

Our idea was to offer some kind of reflections about the political and social period we are currently living. Especially, but not only in Italy. Pericles pronounces those famous words at the end of a war. While he celebrates the dead soldiers, he also tries to give survivors a message of hope. He reminds Athenians their innermost values, some time lost under cover of disappointment. He asks them to be strong, faithful, fair. That's the same I’d like I wish for those who'll see the film.

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