“The pandemic epoque will have an effect on people’s habits”
Industry Report: Documentary
Antonella Di Nocera • Producer, Paralello 41
The Italian producer, selected for the 2021 Emerging Producers, discusses the present and future of documentary film
Cineuropa: Why do you produce documentaries? Do you understand documentary film as an instrument of social and political change?
Antonella Di Nocera: I have been producing documentaries since 1998 because I find them the form of cinema that gives creative space to truth and trust. Therefore, they become an instrument of social and political change, but they also represent a unique form of art able to incorporate emotions as it can rarely be shared by authors, protagonists and audiences. I believe producing a documentary film is a process of human and professional understanding and sharing which does not have equals – a unique form of taking care and feeling responsible.
How do you deal with the current pandemic situation as a producer? What are your main concerns (or opportunities)?
We are concentrating more on development, research and writing. Personally, with my company, I am trying to build chances and opportunities for young female authors and directors and spend more time taking care of the research process and writing.
What do you think is the future of the distribution of documentary films?
What I hope is that documentaries are still to be distributed in cinemas and shared screening spaces and I will always fight for it. Nevertheless, I know that it is more and more difficult and that the pandemic epoque will have an effect on people’s habits. Therefore I believe specialized platforms and channels should be reinforced and forms invented to promote documentaries and cultivate the audience’s taste for them starting from school.
What projects do you have underway (including in the area of fiction film and other projects)?
My company recently got sources for a slate funding catalogue from the Campania Region Fund so we are developing 4 projects, 3 documentaries and one fiction (with a very neorealist base).
All movies are written and directed by women apart from the last one I am presenting here.
I am producing them and incorporating the work of junior producers (both women). The first film Lo Stato Sordo (The Deaf State) tells the story of Nicola who was born deaf in a hearing family and through him it is about the rights of fragile human beings confronting Italian institutions. The second one La Folla Nel Cuore (The Crowd in the Heart) is a story of strength, of the women of Forcella (historic neighbourhood with a high crime rate in the heart of Napoli): they are mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters, sometimes housewives, caregivers, babysitters or maids, but when they step onto a theatre stage, they become who they have always wanted to be. The third is a fiction written by two women, partly autobiographic: contemporary, thrilling, exciting, complex love story between a lesbian and a woman who discovers the taste of gay and deep love.
The last movie is more into archive and political reflections: the election of the first leftist mayor in Napoli marks a turning point. The Red Mayor is the story of a dream and a politics able to render emotions. But it is also the search for how the "happy memory" of another era can take on features of universality and also speak to new generations.
Apart from these I have a documentary film in a rough cut stage entitled Lievito which unveils the present and past complex conflict in education of youngsters and their relation to the master/educator.
EMERGING PRODUCERS is a leading promotional and educational project, which brings together talented European documentary film producers. The programme is organised and curated by the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival.
Deadline for applications to the EMERGING PRODUCERS 2022 edition is 31 March 2021.
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.