17th ÉCU
The European Independent Film Festival 2022 

8th - 10th April 2022 
Interview

Vittorio Bonaffini
Farewell 
Section: Experimental Film 
ecufilmfestival.com
Italian Version

In a few minutes I tried to tell the fine line that separates us from goodbye with the person we love. An unstable flow that slowly becomes inexorable. A world made of voids and incommunicability. Where you no longer recognize the real from the imagination.

Hi Vittorio thank you for talking to The New Current, how are you holding up during these very strange and very difficult times?

Thank you for inviting me to this interview. I'm doing fine, but we all know these are difficult times. We didn’t deserve neither a war nor a pandemic. Especially the younger generations, children and people already going through hardship. But you know what? I see that after these tragedies the contents and thoughts of people, in social media or in a coffee bar are slowly improving. I realised that some people don’t write and share anymore things like 'Life is beautiful' or 'I love my job'. This is bullshit! The message is wrong. Life is full of obstacles but if you do your best it can become beautiful and work is sacrifice, disappointment, chasing, effort but it can give you great satisfactions and complete you as a person. This is the truth that the new generations deserve to know.

Has this time offered you any creative inspiration or opportunities?

Maybe. I will find out in a few years when we really understand the consequences of what we’re all going through.

 

Congratulations on having your debut short film Farewell part of the 17th ÉCU Film Festival, what does it mean to you to be at the festival and part of such an amazing Experimental Film Selection?

Wow. This was totally unexpected. Before the shooting, I had no intention of submitting "Farewells" to festivals, but I had a strong need to tell a story, a particular moment of my life. Probably, I would have only posted it on social media, on Vimeo or some similar platform. Then the interest of some people, producers and my own crew, convinced me to embark on this journey and present Farewell to festivals.

 

Why did you decide to shoot Farewell on 16mm, will this be something you would do again in the future?

We decided to shoot this short film in 16mm, to give that decadent aesthetic to the house, clothes, to the moments of suspension. In regards to the cinematic palette, the shades of green represent the drama but also the hope of an emotional revolution that we see outside the house, whilst the orange tackles distancing in a uterine and sentimental prison that both protagonists suffer in spite of themselves. At the same time, I think that the actors lived the days of the set with a lot of tension, remaining focused only on their performance and not feeling the presence of the camera, and not having the opportunity to review the footage. So that that cinematic experience was as close to reality as possible, it lived only in that precise moment.

cristiano-rinaldi-poster-farewell-def-artstation.jpeg

Can you tell me how Farewell came about, what was the inspiration behind your vision for this film, and what was the message you wanted to convey with this film?

 

There is an autobiographical part for sure, and another dreamlike part, which only existed in my head and in my anxieties of that very period. I have always been attracted to the theme of abandonment, of the liquid "Farewells" or rather that passage from the explosion of a stunning and screamed love to the whole world, on social networks, to families, to my closest friends up to the slow liquefaction of the same that leads to misunderstanding, in incommunicability and emotional isolation. For me, happiness has a beginning but it always has an end, not necessarily in a negative sense. It can be liberation, resurrection.

When working on Farewell how close do you like to keep to your script once you start shooting, did you allow yourself much flexibility?

The script was very simple and there are very few, short dialogues in the film. I wanted the leading couple to experience the drama and that loneliness in their own way. This is also why I chose two actors who, more or less, recently lived a similar experience.

 

What has been the biggest challenge you've faced bringing Farewell to life and looking back is there anything you would have done differently on this film?

Time. I wrote and imagined "Farewells" three weeks before the first day on set. I didn't have a producer, a crew, nor the actors as a matter of fact but I had to work in every possible way to transfer that hurricane of visions into images for which I had an unusual adrenaline that pushed me to believe in it despite everything.

A madness that I will never want to endure again, that’s for sure.

 

How much has your background in advertising helped prepare you for directing Farewell?

 

A lot. By making commercials you can confront yourself with many minds simultaneously, you often are on a shoot even if with completely different mechanisms from those found in cinema. But the amount of briefs, ideas and contents that circulate give you a fluid vision of everything that happens in the world.

A speed of thought and adaptation that is not for the faint of heart. I was lucky enough to have a crew that I knew very well, so transferring my ideas to picture was pretty easy.

"Life is an archipelago, there are multitudes of currents to follow, strong and inescapable waves we face, even if they really piss you off, dive into the void and try..."

What would you say has been the most rewarding or valuable lesson you have taken away from making Farewell?

 

I understand that we seek the truth at any cost, but instead it is better to wait for it sitting in a cafe.

 

I learned that if a gaffer goes crazy and out of control during the shoot you have to offer him a slice of pizza. Always.

 

I have learned that silence is a way to love.

 

I understood that there is something worse than all the idiots. Yourself.

 

I understood that I will never understand why couples tell each other 'it will be forever'. And I will continue to investigate this.

 

I have found that over the years you learn to love your mistakes and your regrets like your children.

Are there any tips or advice you would offer any emerging filmmaker or commercial director/creator?

Easy. Don't be arrogant, but be kind and understanding. When you can.

 

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

If your stomach hurts a bit at the end of this short film, I'll be satisfied.

We must learn that "Farewells" have the same dimension and grandeur as encounters. Life is an archipelago, there are multitudes of currents to follow, strong and inescapable waves we face, even if they really piss you off, dive into the void and try, but at times, look for safe islands and rocks where to dock and take a breath.