Part II Gaudium. The Prophecy of Coca. A film by Maurizio Mistretta

For over twenty years, Maurizio Mistretta has been a director, screenwriter and actor in several films, documentaries and plays. He trained artistically first in Bologna, then in Pisa where he was artistic director of a company of actors held in the Don Bosco prison in Pisa. He has developed projects in public and private schools in Italy and in Thailand, refugee camps, juvenile prisons and much more. He currently lives most of the time in Bangkok where he founded his production company All Soul Production and is the artistic director of the Italian Film Festival in Bangkok and the Dante Alighieri association.

Maurizio Mistretta has collaborated with Sandro Calvani on the writing of the screenplay “Gaudium – La profezia della coca”, published by Bertoni Editore on January 23rd 2018. Since last summer, Maurizio Mistretta has been busy shooting some scenes of the film.

We asked him some questions to find out more about this compelling story and challenging project.

His first meeting with Sandro Calvani and Gaudium: what struck you in this story?

There have been several preliminary meetings with Sandro Calvani and in the most varied circumstances. In almost all these occasions Sandro proposed to me the idea of ​​developing a subject and writing a screenplay on this unknown universe, which started and developed from the coca plant and its centuries-old history in the Andes. Finally we met only to talk about this project of which I still could not grasp the many possibilities. I then took a week to understand better, with Sandro bringing me scientific and historical materials. In him there was a fortuitous request that the final product had a broad scope, come, intelligently, to as many people as possible. There was no story yet, this is the thing that attracted me the most, but many stories some real and belonging to a historical past strongly evocative for us Italians, others less visible that intertwined and changed the global dynamics, until today. We just had to write the story, and Gaudium was born.

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What are the strengths of this film production from your point of view?

I love stories with rich contents and unwritten endings. This is a story that we read every day in the newspapers, but it started 4,000 years ago. Let’s say that it will be difficult to annoy the viewer and we can keep it attached to the screen for a long time, whether the final format is filmic or serial. If a film has such characteristics, it is easy to predict sequels even in crescendo. For the series, if we want, it is even simpler.

Currently Gaudium is in the hands of different international production houses. Tell us which ones are most interested?

We have some American producers who are studying the situation. Everyone is interested in a new product. But diversity attracts and rejects at the same time. Here in Thailand it is easier to interact with Hollywood, which often uses Thailand as a location for some films or parts of it. I would like to start to have some feedback also from Europe, starting from Italy where, on paper, we have to shoot a lot.

You have already shot some scenes, chosen actors and locations. Can you explain the reasons for these choices?

A few weeks ago we found ourselves having a small budget available to shoot some scenes. I did not want to make a trailer, as I often start, when I think it should end instead. So I wrote four scenes for a teaser, which are not even in the script, and we looked for a location that would allow us to shoot everything in one day, however, wanting to shoot with high standards. It was a successful simulation, since we shot almost 10 minutes in one day with actors often at the first experience. The choice of location was the hardest thing anyway and we were lucky that a local production company organized the troupe at very low cost. This teaser, however, was also possible thanks to the talent of the director of photography, Niccolò De la Fere, who is also one of the producers of Gaudium

She has been living outside Italy for a long time and has been a professional in the field for many years; tell us what do you think the limits and potentials of film production in Italy and the main differences with the opportunities that the foreigner has given and could reserve to Gaudium?

I struggle to answer this question because I came to Thailand when it was still filmed. I have never dealt with cinema in Italy except for some documentaries that have been made on some of my theatrical operations quite extreme, like my work in the Pisa prison. Being a theater person and living in the province, coming into contact with the world of cinema was very problematic. In Thailand I continued my theatrical activity, but it was the community of local actors (expat and Thai) that brought me closer to this world as this is a source of work and income for them. Digital, meanwhile, has provided some facilities for experimenting with its potential to engage in this new language. I started almost by accident, but I must say that I enjoy it a lot and the results are very encouraging.

Well, you just have to invite you to consult the link on Gaudium if you want to know more:

* This translation is automatically generated by the system

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