Claudia travels to Sicily to reconcile with her lover, Anna. Coldly rejected, Claudia spends the night with a handsome man, unwittingly forcing her to face reality and accept who she is.
Interview with Writer/Director Giulio Poidomani
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I was fascinated by women and the way they are portrayed in old Italian films. They are always mysterious and complex; often better than the men. So I was really trying to give voice to strong female characters. In the case of "Mai," the protagonist is a lesbian and I wanted to show her path to the full acceptance of herself.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
It shows Italy, specifically Sicily, in a way that hasn't been done in years, perhaps. It shows a type of woman that is strong and will not succumb to man's power. I think it is a movie for women - to women.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
This is something I really like about this film, something that people told me after screenings. The beauty of the movie is that you don't really care if Claudia is a lesbian. Whatever happens to her is normal. Everybody can sympathize with her. Doesn't really matter if you're straight or gay. Either way you understand what she is going through. So I guess personal and universal themes really blend together.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development and production?
The script was written two years before the shooting. There was an entire scene of Claudia waiting for a phone call from her ex-girlfriend that has been entirely erased because it felt anachronistic (even though I was looking for an old fashioned type of style, but that scene was definitely too much). Getting close to production we realized we didn't have enough money to shoot one more day, so I had to erase other scenes to make it fit into five days of shooting. I think the film works anyway. Probably it is even better.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I am surprised, actually. I attended many screening and people always have beautiful things to say about the film. The story and Claudia's path are very clear and well told. The cinematography and the locations are beautiful. American audiences really like the film. I guess it is appealing to an American Audience.
Italy is more complicated. I guess not everybody likes to watch a film made with this kind of old style. But either in the USA and Italy I can tell you there were people crying towards the end. Those people fully understood the character and her tragedy. This makes me believe that I did my job.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I hope more people can read about it, maybe come to our screenings. I want my film to be seen.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
I would love to have my film reviewed by journalists. I hope festival directors will be interested in the movie and maybe put it in their festival selection. Wouldn't kill to get a distribution deal.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
There's a word that I don't really like anymore. It is "diverse". I don't think it reunites people, but it reminds us of a difference. As I said before, everybody can empathize with Claudia. I want people to understand that whatever you are straight or gay, black or white, man or woman, we all go through a complex road that will define us as a person and will bring us self-acceptance.
I hope people can read that in my film and understand there's no need to fight our differences because really, in the end, when it comes to what really matters, there is no difference.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
The film leaves us with a question: Will Claudia stay with Sandro or not? I think everybody can answer in his own way.
Would you like to add anything else?
Everyday on set was magic.
What are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I have two short films I'm working on right now. One is called "Billy Boy", a crazy dark story, female driven. I can't wait to shoot it because I can explore again the dark side of people's minds. Shooting will be in New York in August. The other short is called "Still Waters", a drama about a deaf woman with epilepsy. I guess I like strong women.
Interview: June 2016
If you enjoyed reading about 'Mai' and are interested in the 'New Italian Cinema' also check out our profile on Alessandro Vivarini's BlasterCore
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series and music video. If you are a filmmaker - we'd love to hear from you. More info: Carmela (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Director: Giulio Poidomani
Producer: Isabella Roberto
Writer: Giulio Poidomani
Giulio Poidomani is an award winning director and screenwriter whose accolades include the italian Matador Award for the feature screenplay "Crisci Ranni" and "Best Short Film" at the AFME for "Never" which has also been officially selected in over 20 film festivals including the Athens International Film and Video Festival.
Isabella Roberto is a producer and co-founded Purple Road Pictures. She has worked with the likes of Susan Ferris (founder of Bohemia Group Entertainment) and produced several short films. Most recently Isabella has line produced the feature film "Fourever" starring Bryan Greenberg.
Key cast: Flavia Ripa, Alessandro Rugnone Gangi, Ilaria Ambrogi
Looking for (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists): sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists. We want people to watch our film and talk about it.
Funders: The film has been financed by the producer and director, and sponsored by many local Sicilian business companies.
Release date: July 2015
Where can I watch it? Mai is screening in New York June 11, at the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival; on June 18th will screen at the New Jersey International Film Festival; June 26th there is a special screening at Mindie, Miami Independent Film Festival; It will also screen at the Maine International Film Festival between July 8 and 17 and at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.