Satyajit Ray inspires Italian director duo

Satyajit Ray inspires Italian director duo

 
Frimmel and Covi's minimalistic offering 'La Pivellina' (The Little One) won the Jury Grand Prize at the recently concluded Mumbai International Film Festival.

Frimmel, who hails from Austria and Covi from Italy, said they were motivated by the craft of Satyajit Ray and neo-realistic directors, particularly from India and Italy of Ray's time, shunning big budget shooting.

The directors, who believe that it is important to be "minimalistic to portray reality around" said they greatly appreciated Indian filmmakers like Ray, Ritwik Ghatak and Adoor Gopalkrishnan.

They are also keen to watch the works of some young directors of India and get familiarised with the film movement in the 'land of ancient civilisation'.

"We are greatly enthused about the new age Indian cinema which, we have heard, is going through a productive phase with the coming up of multiplexes," Frimmel said.

The director duo said that they stuck to natural settings and shot the film with hand-held camera.

"Our shooting style has been minimalistic shorn of expensive sets, costumes and decor as we give more thrust on human values and sensibilities which are universal cutting across frontiers," Frimmel said.

The film has received ecstatic reviews in the festivals around the world. It was also awarded the Best European Film in the Directors' Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival this year.

The film depicts rigours of a Rome based circus people blending Austrian and Italian filmmaking styles. The characters in the film are portrayed by non-professional actors from the travelling circus milieu.

"The settings are grimy, makeshift encampments behind corrugated iron walls," said a spokesman of the independent film production company Vento Film, founded by the two.

Asked what they felt about their film nominated for a film festival in Mumbai where big budget films are churned out one after another, Frimmel said, "Yes, the irnoy is not lost."

"But in the end every film - small or big budget- mainstream or parallel, has a universal language, a universal appeal. And whatever is the film's mount - big or small budget -  it's the audience response that matters."

Besides Cannes, La Pivellina got several awards including the Best Film Award and Audience Award in Valdivia, the Special Jury Award and Best Actress Award. It also won the Golden Gladiator for the best film in Durres and won the competition at 45th Pesaro International Film Festival.

The director duo's other works are 'That's All' made in 2001 and 'Babooska' in 2005.

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