I caught up with filmmaker Alessandro Freno for a behind-the-scenes look at his short film about love.
What was your inspiration for this film?
We wanted to tell a simple love story, from an unconventional point of view. In Italy, it’s still difficult to consider LGBTQ relationships normal, but why? That’s the challenge we’re trying to win, against the mainstream, bigoted point of view.
What was the production process?
We’re Codcast Channel, a little production company from Milan. We try to create content that’s both entertaining and meaningful, in the funniest way possible. That’s how we try to roll, and that’s how this short film was born. We hope it’s possible to make viewers think while they’re having fun.
This film took about two months to write. Daniela Giordani – one of our copywriters – had the idea, and then we developed the script all together. We spent two days filming in Milan, and then about two weeks editing.
What was the casting process?
We worked in two ways. On one hand we contacted actor agencies here in Italy, and on the other we went through Facebook groups and friends. That’s how we found Matteo Sintucci – the main character, Michele Sallicandro – the boyfriend, and Silvia Ghironi – the old lady. The guy who lends his bike to Matteo is actually our illustrator, Valerio Sorcinelli.
What sort of response have you had so far to the film?
Mean comments are always there, but luckily we’ve also got a lot of support from the viewers. The video is getting a good response on Facebook, with shares from many LGBTQ associations. We’re also getting the support of Italian influencers on Instagram who want to spread the message.
Are things getting better for LGBTQ people in Italy?
Not really. The government is not so gay-friendly, particularly Mr. Salvini who is head of the Home Office. But there are a lot of associations which are doing their best to organise Pride parades and to raise awareness. It’s still a long road.
What do you hope that people feel when they’re watching the film?
I hope they can laugh, following the little odyssey of the main character, and sympathise with him and his bad luck. When you get to the end of the short film, I hope it will make you think. Almost nobody expects them to be a gay couple, and why so? Our way of thinking is affected from the world we live in, even in ways we don’t know. This little twist is supposed to make you smile, think, and maybe shed a little tear. We wish the best to the LGBTQ movement in Italy and in the whole world.