A delicious, feel good story with entrée, main course and dessert.
Interview with Director/Co-Producer Trevor Graham
Congratulations! Why are you making your film?
Here are some questions for you: What does ‘normal’ mean? Who is ‘normal’? And who isn’t?
They are questions I want to explore in my latest film, My Big Fat Italian Kitchen. It’s a story about people with Down Syndrome who want to develop their talents and potential and the gifted people, including an amazing Piedmont chef, in Italy, who are making their dreams come true. And it’s got all the ingredients that get me excited – food – as a vehicle for story telling and some truly wonderful characters. In a world of gloom and doom, it’s a feel-good story and I think it’s got all the ingredients for a great film.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The tone of My Big Fat Italian Kitchen will be both feel good and irreverent. Removing the boxes we humans tend to place people in, is the first priority of the film. But first of all the experience of watching it must be enjoyable, with laughs and some tears. Watching will make you hungry. Movie then dinner – sounds like a good night out.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Down Syndrome in the modern day is a study in changing social values and choice. It's about the fight by people with Down syndrome to be truly included – and valued – in a society that proclaims a respect for diversity and inclusion.
Leaving home from the family nest is a universal theme in our story – leaving home to live an independent life. In the current Italian family social context regarding disability, parents ‘letting go’ of their children is often an emotional challenge for mothers in particular, but also fathers.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
The film is currently a work in progress. I’m financing and shooting the project concurrently. I first came across the Albergo Etico through a friend of mine in Sydney, Australia, who has a 28 year-old daughter with Down Syndrome. My friend, who is deeply involved in advocacy rights for people with intellectual disabilities, was overwhelmed by what she saw taking place in Asti – the transformation in people’s lives. In her long experience as a mother and disability advocate, there was nothing else like it either in Australia or the rest of the world. So I decided, then and there, I’d journey to Asti and take a look,
And the journey hasn’t stopped. I was hooked. I’ve now been filming this story for over a year and have become incredibly close to some of the characters, almost like I too am now part of the big fat Italian kitchen. That simply means they trust me and allow me to take my camera into their lives. They want their story told.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
People love the trailer and the short clips online. Generally the response is, “Wow. This is totally charming”.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
Yes. To keep going along and make the film.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
More exposure for the film, the story, the people, the themes we are exploring. Most importantly, we are looking for donations to help complete our budget. We are looking to fill a gap in our budget to complete the film.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
We currently have support from distributors in Australia and Italy, interest from the Berlin Film Festival. We are now hoping that MIFF Premiere Fund will join us to produce the project and Film Victoria.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We want audiences across all platforms to enjoy and engage with our film – festivals, online, TV, theatrical release and event screenings. Central to the story is Chef Antonio’s cuisine, the ingredients and the recipes. Without his delicious food there would be NO training, NO Albergo Etico, NO movement for social change in Italian hospitality and disability. So Antonio’s recipes will also nourish this story - feeding audiences with his ingredients and passion for food. Need-less-to-say the onscreen food will be mouth-watering – buon appetito!
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
How can we make our society socially inclusive so that we can all develop our potential and talents in all walks of life. It’s a universal theme for us all to consider and act on.
Interview: December 2018
We Are Moving Stories embraces new voices in drama, documentary, animation, TV, web series, music video, women's films, LGBTQIA+, POC, First Nations, scifi, supernatural, horror, world cinema. If you have just made a film - we'd love to hear from you. Or if you know a filmmaker - can you recommend us? More info: Carmela