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Established 1995 serves and documents relentless the festivals community, offering 92.000 articles of news, free blog profiles and functions to enable festival matchmaking with filmmakers.


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MEET YOUR EDITOR Bruno Chatelin - Check some of his interviews. Board Member of many filmfestivals and regular partner of a few key film events such as Cannes Market, AFM, Venice Production Bridge, Tallinn Industry and Festival...Check our recent partners.  

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Q & A with award-winning Argentine Filmmaker Rodolfo Carnevale

Bruno Chatelin (BC): Rodolfo tell me more about the catalyst for your debut film The Well?


Rodolfo Carnevale (RC):  Every filmmaker has a different catalyst, in my case "The Well" allows me to tell the story of my life, the story of my family, and more importantly, I can accomplish a social function through making the film, namely to educate and make people more aware about Autism.


BC: What kinds of films are you and Aporía Productions primarily interested in making?


RC: I'm interested in movies that leave the audience thinking. I'm very attracted to dramas, thrillers and romantic comedies. My aim together with Aporia Producciones is to make movies that surpass the expectations of people who enjoy art and culture, whilst awakening feelings and thoughts by reflecting the aspects of our current reality.

In my previous work, I had an approach to the subject of disability, for example in the short film "Aporia," where award-winning actress Dora Baret, played  a woman who has been confined to a wheel chair for the rest of her life due to an accident. But in "The Well," I decided to emphasize the dialogue between the previous life of a young isolated woman and the implications of her condition in her family environment.


BC: So although Autism is a really difficult topic you felt you had enough knowledge  to co-write this film. Was the shoot challenging?


RC: "The Well" is a film that talks about the inner world of autism and the implications in the environment from a point of view that I believe has been never done before in a film. It's an intense process that involves my own biography, I decided to use and show all my experiences as the brother of a young man with autism, to reveal what people with this condition think, what they imagine, and how they understand events that take place outside "the well."


I made this movie for several personal reasons, mainly because I have an autistic brother, and I wanted to reveal things that are related to living with a person with different abilities, and tell the difficult role of a family coping with the situation, the relationships, the couple issues, and the suffering of the siblings, and important decisions that must be made. I wanted to reveal the reality of the family, to give acknowledgment and hope from my own perception. The movie also has a therapeutic purpose and a view about the special institutions of today. The main objective is to create awareness.

For its development, I counted on the collaboration of psychologists, psychiatrists, family members and associations dedicated to educating people with different capacities. I think, the important participation of Nicolás Manservirgi as the co-writer, was an important starting point for this project, since it helped a lot to talk freely about the theme, without leaving anything to chance.


The pre-production of the film was done in 8 weeks of intense work, we looked for set designers, actors and a technical crew that would join us through the whole process. The filming of the movie was done in 6 weeks in the city of San Luis, Argentina, followed by 8 intense months of post-production for the editing of the picture, sound and special effects.


BC: You seem like a man who likes to take a risk - was it difficult to find financing for a specialized niche film like this?

RC: I'm passionate about challenges. It is highly risky to use celluloid to talk about sensitive issues. In my country, the drama genre doesn't have that much reach. My goal was to open a window to places like the US and Europe, where they pay closer attention to this type of serious film and subject matter.


It is definitely a niche film, even though it talks about other issues in a more general way. It's important to find the proper communication strategy. It is a very personal movie and the characters are played by well-established actors in Argentina.


It took 4 years of intensive struggle to get the funding to produce this movie. I've participated in screenwriting contests, I've pitched it in several Movie Production Companies and the Institute of Cinematography of Argentina, and none of these showed real interest. Some time later, the province of San Luis in Argentina (where usually supports film productions) showed interest for this movie, and decided to invest the 70% of the budget for its development. From that moment, the ones who had previously rejected the film, started to participate as well.


BC: Pilar, the main character superbly played by Ana Fontan seems to be getting buzz tell me more about her acting career and the casting process in Argentina?


RC: Yes, it is true that the role played by Ana Fontán (Pilar Guzmán, a 26 year-old autistic girl with mental retardation) draws lots of attention from people in general, directors and producers, and from the people who know about autism and special abilities. It is not very common to see this type of role in a feature film, we had the privilege of seeing Dustin Hoffman in "Rain Man," or Leonardo Di Caprio in "What's eating Gilbert Grape?," Jodie Foster in "Nell," Claire Danes in "Temple Grandin" among others. And we could learn from their complex world that is so challenging to address, due to it's complexity, and lack of knowledge about this matter. Thank you to these great actors, for their dedication to their craft. I think Ana Fontán can be added to this list now, and in an absolutely outstanding way.


Since the moment of the casting, her professionalism, loyalty, the level of research, and above all things, her commitment to the cause, made possible the role of Pilar Guzman as we know it today.


After an arduous research process, observation and study, a deep, extensive and committed contact with autistic people, parents, therapists, and long rehearsals, she could understand the "essence of autism." Ana Fontán, is a well known Argentine actress and singer,. She has a very particular face and great expressiveness.

She's developed a big trajectory in theater, musicals and TV, being elected by the best Directors and Producers, performing seasons in Corrientes St. and National and International tours.


Most of the actors in the movie are well known in Argentina and have long-established careers in film and theater. Such is the case of Patricia Palmer, Eduardo Blanco, Dora Baret, Adriana Aizenberg, Norma Pons, Juan Palomino and Maite Zumelzú, and on the other side, my big bets were for Tupac Larriera, Ezequiel Rodriguez and Ana Fontán, who are brilliant and irreplaceable actors.


BC: What are your intentions and hopes for the film?


RC: I wish to contribute to social awareness for autism and also about cerebral palsy. It is my deepest wish that this movie successfully reaches the heart of the people who watch it. It is a movie that touches the fibers of a deep vulnerability and pain. I'm taking about hope, besides the terrible difficulties, and how to go on, or get out of "the well."

I hope it serves to humanize us a little bit more.  Films are a great social tool, and "The Well", comes from a real issue. I hope that other families like mine can identify through the movie. I also wish it serves to progress in special abilities matters, especially in Autism. For me, "The Well", it's not just a movie, but a great struggle and mission for the special abilities and everything that these generate in families and society.


BC: Last but not least - Congratulations on your success on the festival in New York International Film Festival. 6 awards is quite an achievement! How do you feel

RC: I am thrilled that The Well won six great awards and we hope this will help with distribution.

Best Directorial Debut Awards (International)

Best Directorial Debut of a Feature Film,

Audience Award Best International

Feature Film - El Pozo/The Well

Best International Actor in a Feature Film Ezequiel Rodriguez in El Pozo/The Well

Best International Actress in a Feature Film, Ana Fontan in El Pozo/The Well

Best Original Score - Pablo Borghi for El Pozo/The Well

BC: How has media coverage in general been?

RC: It is very soon, the movie was finished just 2 months ago, but it caused quite a stir so far especially in New York. During the filming, I gave lots of interviews for newspapers, entertainment and educational magazines.  "The Well" counts on the support of well known institutions such as Apadea, Aupa, Facultad de Psicología, Universada del Cine, and Fundación Osde. All the media are surprised about the courage and challenges of making this complicated film as well as the commitment of the cast and crew.


The movie has been sent to several international festivals and we are now waiting for their evaluation. The New York International Film Festival, was the first one to select "The Well" and I am very happy, since it's a well known festival that favors the independent filmmaker. In the past I screened two short films: "Genesis" and "Aporía", at the NYIFF and received recognition and awards.


BC: Your mentioned you hoped the awards would help with distribution, is there any good news on that front?


RC: It's not easy to find a distributor willing to back a debut film that is deep. That said,

there are interested distributors such as ITN Distribution, Primer Plana Film Group, and Mariori de Marcos. My aim with this movie is to get the best distribution deal possible, even if it takes time to find the right one. I strongly believe the movie deserves to be watched worldwide. At the same time, the distributors show more interest when the movie participates in any international Film Festival and gets recognition and positive critiques from outstanding professionals.

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