Samantha Casella | Interview

RSTMPA : What initially drew you to filmmaking?
Samantha : I think a sort of “chain reaction” was triggered. At the beginning came the love for literature, then for art, until one afternoon, I was a child, I saw a film by Ingmar Bergman, “Winter Light”. Cinema conquered me that day.
RSTMPA : Who are your filmmaking influences, and how do they inspire your work?
Samantha : I admire many directors but I love three above all: Ingmar Bergman, David Lynch and Terrence Malick. What can I say…. They showed me another world. They gave shape to things that you don’t see in real life. There is only one inspiration: to tell your truth.
RSTMPA : What are some of the biggest challenges you face as an independent filmmaker?
Samantha : I consider myself very lucky. For my type of film I always had what I needed. If there was a challenge, it was towards myself. I force myself to improve, I want to improve, learn. I think that’s the real challenge.
RSTMPA : What advice do you have for aspiring independent filmmakers on building a strong crew?
Samantha : I think that the first thing to do is to choose the right people, similar to your feelings, to your idea of cinema. And accept that the first to give everything for their movie must be the director.
RSTMPA : What strategies do you use to get your films seen by a wider audience?
Samantha : I would not know. A movie is like a child, it must be helped to grow up. I try to do everything in my power to ensure my films have a dignified life. I try to follow them in promotion, at festivals, in theaters when they are screened.
RSTMPA : What are your thoughts on the future of independent cinema in the digital age?
Samantha : I believe that independent cinema needs a coalition between directors and intentions to become increasingly stronger. And it needs people willing to sacrifice: in independent cinema it requires a lot of strength, a lot of dedication and a lot of health!
RSTMPA : Can you tell us about the inspiration behind your winning film?
Samantha : “Santa Guerra” follows a woman who is unable to overcome a trauma: the loss of her daughter. It is not known how she died: perhaps an abortion, perhaps her mother’s carelessness, perhaps she killed her. This fascinated me: the sense of guilt over any real or presumed guilt.
RSTMPA : Are there any upcoming projects you’re excited to work on?
Samantha : The post-production of my new film, Katabasis, has just finished. It is a movie full of hallucinations, ghosts, nudity, blood, drugs, milk, infernal places, toxic relationships, sick loves, It’s a very personal film.
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