“I myself regard Fellini as the Shakespeare of Cinema.” (EXCLUSIVE) by Jude Rawlins

Those of us who love, live and breathe cinema all have our own journey, each one as unique and diverse as we ourselves are. Whatever makes us fall in love with the art of the moving image, be it the craft of Kubrick, the weirdness of Ken Russell, the poetry of Tarkovsky, the beauty of Agnes Varda, the physicality of William Friedkin, the lavish storytelling of Bela Tarr, the sentimentality of Steven Spielberg, the epic vision of Jodorowsky, the passionate humanity of John Cassavetes, the grittiness of Martin Scorsese, the wild dreams of François Truffaut, or the sheer guts of Jean-Luc Godard, there is one name above all others that unites us, and all of these, and that name is Federico Fellini.

From his humble beginnings as the son of an apprentice baker, his break as co-writer of Roberto Rossellini’s post-war classic Rome: Open City, through his time at the forefront of Italian Neo-Realism, to his later work that was so unlike anything before it that the word “Fellini-esque” had to be invented to encompass it’s unrelenting originality, Fellini’s films stand as works for ages, like the paintings of Vermeer or the plays of Shakespeare. I myself regard Fellini as the Shakespeare of Cinema, and his is the work I return to time and time again, whether in celebration or times of self-doubt. There is always something in his films to move and inspire me anew, and there is no more valuable an asset for any artist than inspiration.

We do not attempt to copy Fellini, we know we cannot. If we did it would be substandard to anything he created, and artifical, and we know that. Instead, Fellini inspires us to dig deeper and push farther to find our own cinematic voices. His work, like the stream-of-consciousness writing of Virginia Woolf, is a constant source of power and enlightenment to any audience willing to receive it’s gift. But still he is much more than just the filmmaker’s filmmaker. Fellini represents the peak of human artistic endeavour. His work crosses all barriers; language, gender, realism, surrealism. The ultimate agnostic, open to everything, closed to nothing. Fellini could go anywhere and be anything. His characters were flawed and as human as any of us, yet they could have spiritual awakenings and fly off the face of the Earth without losing a grain of their humanity. Fellini was constantly showing us not only who we are, but who we could be, all of the great things human beings could do if they only set aside their smallness and their insecurities. Above all Fellini showed us how to love ourselves so that we could come to understand how we can love others. He demonstrated the sheer poetry of being alive, the beauty of just existing.

I first encountered the work of Fellini at the age of 18 when Derek Jarman loaned me a VHS tape of La Dolce Vita. I had read about the film in Richard Witts’ biography of German singer Nico, who had appeared in it. I’d seen the films of Ken Russell, and Derek too, also those of Visconti, Nic Roeg, Donald Cammell, a couple of things by Truffaut. But I think I still considered the Hollywood legends, such as Michael Curtiz, Billy Wilder and Frank Capra, as the great masters of cinema. All of that changed when I saw La Dolce Vita. I had never seen anything executed as perfectly as the Trevi Fountain scene, and maybe I still haven’t, and the movie completely changed my ideas about cinema. Fellini showed me that there were no rules, no limits to what cinema could be. I sought out his other films, discovering in the process that I Vitelloni was Stanley Kubrick’s all-time favourite movie, Satyricon was Ken Russell’s, and countless names cited Fellini’s 8½ as the greatest film ever made. It all made such perfect and weirdly wonderful sense to me.

When Fellini died it was world news, and I understood the true impact of his work for the first time. As the tributes rolled off the presses, it turned out that everyone that I revered, from David Lynch to Sally Potter, revered Fellini, and that there really wasn’t anyone above him. And then I saw Nights of Cabiria for the first time. It broke my heart and it blew my mind more than any other film ever has, the sheer depth and beauty of it completely redefined what I would ever after hunger for in cinema. And when it seemed to me that no one was even trying to dig that deep any more, that’s when I took up filmmaking.

It turned out that I was wrong, there were and are plenty of gifted filmmakers who absolutely aspire to the depth and feeling of Fellini, and some may even have the talent to do it, if they could only get the funding to try. Quickly I understood that the need to experiment and take risks in order to find that voice and vision, that truth in us that gives us any chance of following in the Maestro’s footsteps, also out of necessity required the willingness to fail. And therein is the trouble, money only measures success in financial terms, and that quite useless when you are reaching for the proverbial stars. As filmmakers and artists we cannot afford the cowardice of commerce, and yet everything costs money. There seemed to be two possible ways to address this; either kow-tow to the benders of commerce or simply make films that cost less to make. The latter approach seemed to work for Derek Jarman and Kenneth Anger and Werner Herzog. And thus I tried, in 8mm and 16mm and MiniDV, and I made a film, Albion Rising, starring Dudley Sutton reciting the words of William Blake. I had met Dudley when he was working on Edward II with Derek and Derek’s muse Tilda Swinton, with whom Dudley also worked on Sally Potter’s Orlando (both films owing much to Fellini’s later work.) Dudley had worked with everyone, the best of the best, but top of the list was Fellini, as he had appeared in Casanova. So Dudley’s first day working with me consisted of my bombarding him with the burning question, what would Fellini do?

When one finds one’s own true inner voice, it is inevitably linked to our inner child. Our ability to recognize the truth has grown from our childhood need for trust. As such there is a direct line between truth and innocence. Once we understand this about human nature, and once we understand that there is more to living then simply reacting to what the world throws at us, writing a screenplay is simply a matter of working out how to use the software. It cannot be learned from any book or classroom, but it is there on the screen before our very eyes in every film Fellini ever made. Fellini understands that the worst thing we can ever be in this life is an adult, because with adulthood come responsibilities which we never asked for and never really wanted. Our deepest desire is to break free, even if just metaphorically. We do not have a duty to obey the rules, only to break them. But we don’t seek to break them as a conscious rebellion, but merely as a byproduct of going our own way. Our inner child knows what we really want even when we don’t. We must become humble in order to hear it. Fellini was the humblest of men, an example to us all.

As independent filmmakers, the revolution was on our side with the advent of digital cameras, particularly the DSLR that could, in theory, shoot video almost as well as a 35mm Single Lens Reflex could shoot stills. With the technology now in our hands, our emphasis could become ideas. With minimal funding it became possible to surround ourselves with talented people. The trick now, then, would be to have something actually worth filming. And so the journey towards the within could finally begin, as we write our hearts out, hold nothing back, and whenever we get stuck, ask ourselves the big question, again; what would Fellini do?

To this day my greatest ambition in cinema is to create work that has at least at it’s heart something of the magic of Nights of Cabiria. I am driven by it, compelled by it, it is the Holy Grail of filmmaking for me. One image as beautiful as the backlit shot of Cabiria on stage with the flowers in her hair, one ending as heartbreakingly beautiful as the ending of that film. Then I would not have lived in vain. I turn once again to the words of Virginia Woolf, my other greatest muse: Survive, create beauty, tell the truth.

“HeArT” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Noelle Joy Sorenson

Who is Noelle Joy Sorenson?

Passionate, a dreamer with a vision and the determination to take the actions needed. A deep love for film and expression. An appreciator of life with an insatiable curiosity. A truth seeker and a story teller. Someone who wants to connect and share, with an understanding that at our best we are here to support, heal and love one another. Independent. Excited to follow the mystery with a bit of reason and the understanding that staying grounded is part of that recipe (at least for me). At times whimsical and silly, at others fierce and focused. Hardworking, fun loving, adventure seeking, and hopefully forever evolving and improving. A bit of a perfectionist. Team oriented, valuing the role that others play. Always looking for the magic, inviting spirit into every aspect of life and art.

– What Inspired you to be a filmmaker?

I think it happened organically. I don’t think as a girl, or young woman that I ever thought for a moment that I could be the one making the films. I think I was under the impression that men did that and I could work for them. I loved performing and saw myself as a musician, dancer, actor, creatively speaking. I think it was organic in that when I was on set as an actor, I was fascinated with every part of the process-not just acting. I wanted to understand all the moving parts from the PA’s to hair and wardrobe, you name it. The way a film set would become a family of sorts-people spending long days with each other all working together for a common vision. I would listen to the directors, AD’s, sound, DP’s, producers, show runners, etc.. On one set I overheard a bunch of the assistant directors, DP, etc. discussing what films they saw that last weekend. I remember they brought up Citizen Kane and I felt immediately that I had to see what that was all about. I loved the energy of the crew, the humor, the creativity of bringing it all to life! I was inspired, so I found a free MIT director film making course on line where I learned about films from famous directors such as John Houston, Jean Cocteau, Alfred Hitchcock, Ingmar Bergman… of course I was always an avid Spielberg, Scorsese, and Tarantino fan. I attended as many master classes and director talks as I could at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. I found myself so intrigued and inspired by Catherine Hardwicke, David O Russell, Francis Ford Coppola, the list goes on and on. At that point it still didn’t dawn on me that I was a film maker. I didn’t know I wanted to make films. I just thought I loved everything about film. Then I heard about this group of actors I knew that were making short films for a fun little contest they had amongst themselves. Something to do while waiting to book if I remember right. Intrigued because I knew so many of these actors I went. I watched peoples films, waited to see who won, thought about what they had done in a relatively short time and then it hit me. I thought, I could do that, I could make a film. I think I could really do this, I have so many stories to tell. I can, I can do this. And that was the jump off, beginning.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Yes. More than probably anything else. It’s very important to tell the stories that are often ignored in the history books, however these stories need to be told with empathy and compassion and as much truth as we can muster in order to create true shifts of mind and changes in society. To express things in society that we often don’t want to look at that need to be addressed for a better world. All change begins with consciousness, awareness, thought. I think films and television have the power to do that and do do that.

-What would I change in the world? 

Huge question. We could talk about war, terrorism, hunger, education, illness. I’m going to bring that in and focus on my little snapshot. If I approach that question from a semi realistic point of view, I would change the world by offering them ideas, emotions, a spark to start a discussion, something thought provoking that makes us look within ourselves. Find our own truth. Recognize that choices are available. Can we choose love and faith over fear? Can we put aside our own baggage for the greater good? Change I think can happen one voice at a time-but it has to felt, it has to resonate, Hearts have to change, hearts can change minds.

-Where do I see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

Technology will reveal a lot of that as far as mediums, how we view things I think. Film, story telling will always be here. The basic components will remain because the human condition doesn’t change, fashion, trends, tech stuff-that changes but we always work, love, connect, eat drink, help each other, we have basic emotions of fear, anger, frustration, passion, anger. Human connection remains. That’s why good story telling from any time stays relevant and lasts. In 100 years as long as there are cultures, societies, human life-we will have films, or streaming situations with series or something like that, but we will have films. They will last. I think we will continue to connect more because of it- technology will create that. Maybe we will have multi sensory versions of things and be able to down load that into our living rooms, not sure. But good films …they will last forever, or at least as long as human life is here on this planet.

“My suggestion is to always research for yourself before expressing…” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Elisabetta Cancelli

Who is Elisabetta Cancelli?

I’m an independent director and actress and after the pandemic hit, during quarantine I’ve created my page and channel called “Silent Dream”, in where I express and publish my works and short films. I’d like to create and promote a sort of “Romanticism” in cinema, same as any form of Romanticism, like in art.

What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I’ve grown up in Trieste in a family of artists, my parents are musicians and my grandma was a poet and a writer. After High School I’ve switched majors twice cause I was too afraid of choosing the artistic career knowing the risks of a job so exciting but financially not secure. In the end my parents helped me with choosing the major at DAMS, Cinema and performing arts in Gorizia. I’ve always been influenced by the wonderful atmosphere of my home, always full of music and inspiration. I think I’ve never really lived without art.I developed my love for cinema, acting and writing naturally.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

Absolutely. It can bring messages and can open discussions on very important topics. The fact is that it’s a double sided knife. You have to be careful with the message you want to express, because not only today’s social media are so powerful and can change even the casting and the editing of the movie, but you could also influence the people, making them change their minds, for better or worse. For example movies inspired by true crimes. How dangerous is it to portray the killer in a charming way? Can this make people emulate him/her or can (knowing bad people can also be charming) work as a warning and make you pay attention to who you’re dealing with? Another example, when is portraying a sexual assault a realistic and tragic portrait of something terrible and when is it pornography? It’s very difficult to understand the subtle line between sending a clear message in your movie and making it ambiguous and dangerous. You can try to understand it by listening to the opinion of the people, of the public, knowing what’s happening in society today and so on. My suggestion is to always research for yourself before expressing a certain topic that can trigger the public, because before directors, we are individuals sharing the same planet with other people.

-What would you change in the world?

I’d like that people to be less afraid to love, more conscious of their feelings. This is a topic I’ve tried so hard to express in my works. I talk about violence against women but also about strong feelings of desire, fear, anger and desperate seeking of freedom from the conventions of society. I’d like people to develop their emotional intelligence more, to learn more about themselves and sexual education, because ignorance and fear can lead to terrible relationships between people. And this can hurt anybody.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

I hope there will be a cycle. I don’t think there’s much inspiration in the Film Industry, of course Independent cinema is always full of new creators and ideas, I’m talking about the big industry. I’m always hearing about remakes, reboots and live action movies and I’d like to hear more about new, exciting and original ideas never heard before. But as with the history of any form of art, I think there are periods of more or less inspiration. I’m optimistic, let’s see what happens.

森へ island (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with 良輔 伴田

-Who is Ryosuke Handa?

I was born in a small village in Kyoto prefecture surrounded by rich nature. The village had beautiful landscapes but no movie theater. In my childhood, I loved to listen to the sounds of nature like dripping rains, flowing rivers. I also enjoyed looking at wild flowers and animals, as well as stars in the galaxy at night, which inspired my imagination. I was interested in how the cosmos had been created and how it would evolve. Nature brings me the spinning and weaving stories. That was my movie theater.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

In my twenties I started painting and printmaking. I also learned photography. Pursuing those techniques, I have learned the differences between two-dimensional and three-dimensional expressions. I created many experimental prints in 1990s. In that process I was gradually interested in the moving images. I came to feel that movies have great potential in presenting my imaginations. You can put everything in a movie. Sergei Parajanov has been one of my favorite movie directors. Tarkovsky has always inspired me.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I don’t shoot films with the intention of changing society. Through movies we could meet visions which you were unaware of before. Bio-philosopher Jacob von Uexkülls “Umwelt” is my favorite concept when I look at the world. Eyes beyond human, eyes in the deep nature reflect my approach to cinemas.

-What would you change in the world?

I feel I am a small part of the cosmos which is a continuum. When I change, the world changes. When the world changes, I change. I think the same thing happens in every part of the cosmos.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

No matter what new devices appear, we need a platform, a kind of screen, that swallows them all like a blackhole beyond borders and the differences. Imagination is the key for us to reach and receive messages from the platform.

“People should dance more and be more grateful for what they have!” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Catia Ott

-Who is Catia Ott?

I am a documentary filmmaker.

I do documentaries mainly on cultural and creative subjects. I just finished a documentary called, MATERIA, portraying the work of artisans and designers in the city of Rome. I have a background in advertisement and lived in Paris and London.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Curiosity! I was always very curious of people’s lives. I observe people on the streets and on public transportation and I imagine what they do, how their house is decorated, who are their friends…

I chose to work with film because it uses photography, music, storytelling, animation, acting in an immersive way that catches people’s heart. I think that using film to describe the world is a powerful tool.

-Do you think that the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I think that cinema can create empathy on certain subjects. Talking about violence, war and chaos using film can have a certain impact on society.

But I also think that talking about ordinary things and ordinary people is very important because it shows the beauty existing in them. A filmmaker can show a point of view on things that are normally overlooked at. 

-What would you change in the world?

People should dance more and be more grateful for what they have!

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next  100 years?

The world will always need stories; whether they are told in film, books, photos or other medias.

Maybe in the future people will go less to the movie theater and watch more films on their computer. This does not mean that people will not go the see events such as film festivals or screenings. Maybe movie theaters must become more similar to cultural centers with events that make people meet and discuss.

Technology should add ways to enjoy films and the film industry will have to adapt especially in regards of distribution.

Flash news – “STAR TREK” Academy Award-winner Joel Harlow wins “8 & Halfilm Awards” and joins WILD FILMMAKER Community.

Academy Award-winner Joel Harlow is one of the most innovative makeup and special makeup artists and designers in American motion pictures. He has proven himself to be one of a very few number of artists who is able to span the world of makeup effects design and creation to the world of on set makeup application. With his company Morphology Inc., Harlow has worked on some of the industries most popular tent-pole films to date.

  • Director Statement
    The world of “Old Time Radio” is meant to pay homage to the classic themes of the horror serial radio dramas from the 30s-40s-50s. There is an innocent quality that those programs offered that has been lost today. A chance to, collectively, adventure into a horror experience with a fun, almost comic, exuberance. I found that using old school movie tricks, such as rod puppets and miniature sets helps to convey the “feeling” I wanted to achieve. Hope you like it.