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March 22, 2014 | posted in Filmmakers
Being a filmmaker isn’t always glamorous.
“I stopped having a normal life,” says Italian filmmaker Vincenzo Cosentino. “It seemed a huge mountain where you can't stop and you can't look down either otherwise you feel that you can fall down any minute.”
His feature-length movie, “Handy,” took four years to complete. The film grew from his popular seven-minute short, “Being Handy.” And he did all the work himself. A crew was a luxury he couldn’t afford.
After learning nine new software systems–spending two years alone on visual effects–Cosentino turned to editing and sound, another “very painful” part of the process. Completing his film was a "one-hand show," rather than a "one-man show," he jokes.
It’s a movie with stand-alone hands as the characters. Cosentino admits his film is “a different kind of movie,” but “I wanted to bring something new to the table; I wanted to narrate an impossible story,” he says.
His story got the attention of an acting legend.
Italian actor Franco Nero, who has starred in many movies, including “Die Hard 2” and “Django” (the 1966 original and the 2012 remake), saw Cosentino’s short at a film festival. The two met and Nero asked what production company he was working with. Cosentino answered: none. “I made the short film mainly all by myself, with no funds.”
A surprised Nero told him that if one day he decides to make a feature out of the short film, that Cosentino “could count on him to play in it for free.”
With this huge boost of self-confidence, Cosentino went to work immediately. The next day, he says, he reached Nero at the airport, right before he was leaving town, and gave him the part he wrote for him overnight. Nero said ‘are you crazy? When did you write this?’ Cosentino answered, “Last night. I didn't want you to re-think your offer."
Nero read the first two pages right then and told Cosentino, "I love this character. OK, I will play it."
One month later, the two met again in Sicily to shoot the scenes. Four years and several months later, the completed “Handy” is in Cleveland.
Cosentino is “super excited” to be here. He says that when “Handy” premiered at the Austin Film Festival last October, he heard many people talk “about this amazing festival in Cleveland where the audience is so open minded.”
Having “Handy” accepted by these well-known film festivals “is a great joy,” he says. He can’t wait “to shake the ‘hands’ of the ones who believed in my hand.”
— Anne M. DiTeodoro
Photo by Nanekia Morgan
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