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Sunday, July 24, 2016

Interview: Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre on joining "Flipo con la Basilicata"

(Click here to go directly to the Crowdfunding Campaign)

As Italian-Americans in the United States or being of Italian origin wherever you are in the world, we all share the common bond of nostalgia for our grandparents and great grandparents that decided to leave their country in search of a better life. In America, we've all watched the videos circulating social media about growing up Italian-American with the traditions of family and food being at the core. The majority of our ancestors came from the center or south of Italy- from regions like Abruzzo, Campania, Puglia, Basilicata, Calabria and Sicily. It's not easy to go back and retrace the footsteps of our ancestors but it is possible to continuously search for ways to stay connected to their land in the midst of the madness and commitments of our everyday lives.

Writer/Director Nicola Bisceglia with Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre meet the press
Here's one great way to do it.. A group of young filmmakers in the region of Basilicata started a web series last year. "Flipo con la Basilicata" follows a Spanish exchange student upon hearing news that he's just been awarded a scholarship at a university located in the south of Italy. Knowing nothing about the region of Basilicata, he originally has mixed feelings. But after moving to the region and assimilating into the beautiful, welcoming culture with his new university friends, he comes to love this land far off the beaten path of tourist attractions. The two episodes were pilots, so to speak. Based on the reception of those episodes, the filmmakers would decide whether to proceed. Perhaps it was their simplistic approach or beautiful landscapes and history lessons that transported the episodes to over 30 countries and to theaters for special screenings throughout Italy. Based on that success, the filmmakers are moving full-steam ahead and now, are trying to raise money to begin shooting the actual series. They started a crowd funding page and are offering unbelievable incentives including food and wine from their region of Basilicata. Aside from the Aglianico wine, such products are virtually impossible to find outside of Italy. The combination of this series shot on location all over the region, and the regional products being offered, the filmmakers have presented a wonderful opportunity for viewers to actively take part in this production while staying connection to the land of our origins or just embracing the unique culture of southern Italy.

I talked with writer/director Nicola Bisceglia when the pilot episodes were just kicking off in November, and I recently checked in with Executive Producer Nausicaa La Torre for some insight on the reception of the first two episodes and what we can expect in the future. Nausicaa answered my questions in Italian, so both versions are included.

Are you happy with the first season of "Flipo con la Basilicata"?
I am pretty satisfied. In addition to the good results on the web, we were invited to present the project at various events and national and international festivals. What makes us happy is the curiosity raised by this project, which is shown through the questions, appreciation, posts and selfies for "Flipo Face" that viewers send us, and that's what gives us the strength to continue. Today, we are focused as a group on preparing the next episodes and seeing what we could improve upon.

Sono abbastanza soddisfatto, oltre ai buoni risultati sul web, siamo stati invitati a presentare il progetto in vari eventi e festival nazionali ed internazionali. Quello che ci rende soddisfatti è la curiosità che suscita questo progetto e che ci viene mostrata attraverso le domande, l’apprezzamento, i post e i selfie “faccia da flipo” che ci mandano ed è questo che ci da la forza per continuare. Ad oggi siamo tutti concentrati per preparare e migliorare al meglio i prossimi episodi, ma anche noi come gruppo di lavoro.

Tell me about some of the feedback and compliments you received.
Honestly, we have received many compliments for the way we've begun to speak about our beautiful region. The project has been seen as a new form of advertising that through authenticity and spontaneity, places the viewer in realistic situations. This is what was appreciated the most and admired by the public in the first two episodes. Of course we also received some criticism, but we take all feedback and try to improve ourselves! Was the series watched much outside of Italy? Our site is translated into five languages and the episodes are subtitled in Spanish and English to facilitate the international audience. Data from YouTube, Facebook and messages showed that we were seen in over 30 countries. In this regard, we have initiated an interesting project which has also involved other nations. This international element will be reflected in upcoming episodes.

Onestamente abbiamo ricevuto tanti complimenti per come abbiamo iniziato a raccontare la nostra splendida regione. Una nuova forma di pubblicità che attraverso un linguaggio autentico e spontaneo immette lo spettatore in uno stato di realtà, questo è quello che più di tutto è stato apprezzato e ammirato dal pubblico dei primi due episodi. Ovviamente abbiamo ricevuto anche diverse critiche ma noi prendiamo tutti i feedback per cercare di migliorarci! Was the series watched much outside of Italy? Il nostro sito è tradotto in cinque lingue e gli episodi sono sottotitolati in spagnolo ed in inglese per facilitare la diffusione internazionale. Dai dati di youtube, facebook e messaggi ricevuti siamo certi di essere arrivati in oltre trenta Paesi. A tal proposito abbiamo avviato un percorso interessante che vede coinvolte anche altre nazioni e che vi mostreremo con i prossimi episodi.

What can you tell us about the upcoming episodes?
We consider the first two episodes as a pilot and now we continue the story from where we left off. There will be some new characters and a number of international news on which I prefer not to discuss yet. We will be sort of a festive caravan that in our wanderings will try to involve the people whose paths we cross. We are confident that it will be quite an adventure.

In realtà non si tratta di una nuova stagione, consideriamo i primi due episodi come un pilota e adesso proseguiamo la storia da dove l’avevamo lasciata. Ci saranno alcuni attori nuovi e una serie di novità internazionali sulle quali preferisco non anticipare troppo: saremo una carovana festosa che nel suo vagare proverà a coinvolgere anche le persone che incontreremo nel percorso…. siamo certi che sarà una bella avventura.

What are some of the locations?
We just did the location scouting to determine where we would be shooting and we are excited about all the possibilities. There are many places in Lucania that are unknown even to us. So, we'll start again from Potenza. We'll be back in the Vulture area, and then continue on to Matera. There will be a number of surprises along the way, which we hope you will also discover while watching the episodes.

Abbiamo appena fatto i sopralluoghi per definire le location e siamo entusiasti di quello che abbiamo potuto apprezzare, ci sono molti luoghi che anche a noi lucani sono sconosciuti. Ripartiremo da Potenza, torneremo nelle zone del Vulture e dopodiché proseguiremo verso Matera. Ci saranno una serie di sorprese lungo il tragitto, che speriamo possiate scoprire guardando gli episodi.

Will you be using that great song again by Krikka Reggae?
The collaboration with Krikka Reggae was valuable for us and certainly will continue. We will also try to optimize their fifteenth year together! We appreciate and respect their work. So it's an honor and a pleasure to collaborate with them. We would still like to work with other local musical groups as well. The concept of networking is key to our project, so we are looking forward to discovering new musical talents.

Watch the video for Krikka Reggae's "Io vivo in Lucania, vengo dalla Lucania" directed by Giuseppe Marco Albano.. The song was featured in Episode 2 of "Flipo con la Basilicata"..

La collaborazione con la Krikka Reggae è stata per noi preziosa e sicuramente proseguirà, cercheremo anche di valorizzare il loro quindicesimo compleanno! sono una realtà che ha il nostro apprezzamento e rispetto e collaborare con loro è per noi un onore oltre che un piacere. Questo però non esclude la collaborazione con altri gruppi musicali locali, il concetto di fare network (politica del nostro progetto) passa anche da collaborazioni di questo tipo, vi faremo infatti scoprire nuovi talenti musicali e che vale la pena conoscere.

When do you think the new season will premiere?
I think we will be able to post the first new episodes in October. There will be a lot of post-production and we will definitely have to be attentive to many details. We will keep everyone updated on our website and on our social media pages- Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as well as our YouTube channel, where the series will be broadcast.

Penso che riusciremo a pubblicare il primo dei nuovi episodi ad ottobre, ci sarà un grosso lavoro di post-produzione e sicuramente dovremo essere attenti a moltissimi dettagli. Poi valuteremo con che cadenza pubblicare gli altri episodi ma terremo tutti aggiornati dal nostro sito e dalle nostre pagine social Facebook, Twitter e Instagram e dal canale YouTube che costruiremo ad hoc.

Is there anything you'd like to say to someone considering a contribution to your crowd funding page?
I simply say that a small act of patronage can greatly change the organization of production, and that the rewards we offer to show our gratitude to our sponsors are as appetizing as they are attractive. This is our sincere hope!

Dico semplicemente che un piccolo atto di mecenatismo a noi può cambiare molto l’organizzazione di produzione, e che le ricompense che offriamo grazie anche ai nostri sponsor sono tanto appetitose quanto allettanti, speriamo davvero di raggiungere questo risultato!

Join us in supporting this exciting new project. Click here to go directly to the crowd funding page.

Here are the first two episodes of "Flipo con la Basilicata"...

Episode 1 "Flipo!"

Episode 2 "Carpe Diem"

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