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Friday, January 3, 2020

Angela Bevilacqua: A Young Filmmaker Beyond Her Years

She studies cinema and television production at the Accademia Delle Belle Arti Di Napoli but even before enrolling, she was well on her way to becoming a gifted storyteller and filmmaker. Born in Naples in 1996, Angela Bevilacqua knew early on that she had a passion for cinema and she didn’t waste any time exploring it. She made her first short film when she was just 17-years-old. Il teatro dei ricordi (The Theater of Memories) stars Alessia Alciati and veteran French actor Jean Sorel who is known for his role opposite Claudia Cardinale in Luchino Visconti's 1965 Sandra. An ambitious first effort, the film premiered as a Special Event at the 2014 Giffoni Film Festival.

Il teatro dei ricordi is an enigmatic tale of a tormented woman looking for a temporary escape. The film opens in a dense forest as a young woman is walking around looking dazed and confused. She starts to run as if in a panic while a violin resounds. Shortly thereafter, she finds herself in an theater with the great Jean Sorel who introduces himself simply as the guardian. A series of flashbacks follow, which reveal the problems from which the young woman is trying to escape. Just when the film seems to be ending, the story takes an unexpected turn, making a shocking revelation.

In addition to the compelling story, the locations of the film are also quite stunning. Shot entirely in the region of Lazio, the Teatro Flavio Vespasiano, where most of the film takes place is a 19th century theater and opera house located in the town of Rieti.

Three years later, Bevilacqua published her first novel La Città del Vizio (The City of Vice), a thriller that explores a personification of the Seven Deadly Sins as they are misguided by the Devil to a supposed place of material and spiritual delight called, "The City of Vice.” But the city itself hides a secret that each and every resident finds out sooner or later. The book is similar to her debut film in that it deals with human nature and overcoming obstacles but with an eerie quality that sets the stage for a surreal atmosphere.

Last year, she released her second short film, L'Attesa, (The Wait), the suspenseful story of a mother who is frantically trying to locate her son after she hears about a terrorist attack in London where he is studying abroad. The 24-minute film is carried entirely by actress Lucianna De Falco who gives an articulate performance filled with a whole host of emotions that reels you right into the fear and dread she is experiencing.

Perhaps the most striking quality of this sophomore effort is the age gap between the director and her protagonist because it’s remarkable that a 23-year-old can write and direct the part of a middle—aged mother so precisely and sensitively. De Falco’s performance is subtle yet intense. She is a character actress who has appeared in numerous movies over the years and has worked with the likes of Ferzan Ozpetek, Carlo Vanzini and Paolo Genovese. The collaboration between this veteran actress and newcomer resulted in a thrilling movie that kept audience members at the edge of their seats.

Italian Cinema Today's makeshift producer, Mauro Ianari and I were at the Rome premiere and caught up with Angela Bevilacqua in the chaos after the screening to ask her a few questions. We were both so mesmerized by this film.

How did this project come about?
I felt this need to write something that conveyed a strong emotion. So I thought, since I am a very anxious person, I'll write about the anguish that we all feel when we are waiting for something important. So L'Attesa was born from the idea of ​​this worried mother who does not know the fate of her son.

What was your motivation to write specifically about a terrorist attack in another country?
The theme of the attack is unfortunately a very current reality, but I chose this theme because it's a subject that could speak to the viewer. It's the world in which we all live now.

Watch Bevilacqua's first film,  Il teatro dei ricordi...



What ignited this particular career path?
I have always been passionate about cinema. For me, the central point of my work is writing. First of all, I feel I am a screenwriter and then a director. I attend The Academy of Fine Arts but started this path when I was 17-years-old with a short film called The Theater of Memories with which I had the privilege of directing Jean Sorel. It was presented as a Special Event at the Giffoni Festival. And now this is my second work, so it continues.

Watch a clip from our interview..



L'Attesa was recently awarded the "Premio Lazio Film Commission" by the Biennale Marte Live film competition. For more information about Angela Bevilacqua, visit her online at http://www.angelabevilacqua.com.

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