We Are Nothing Without Our Memories.
Interview with Writer/Director Stefano Da Fre
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
Laura Pellegrini & I founded a production company in Montréal, Canada about five years ago. We were very fortunate to have the opportunity to shoot for the first time in Ireland & we immediately jumped on the opportunity to work outside of North America as Film Directors.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
The film is a eulogy. It's a visual poem. If you like Terrence Malick films, you'll love ours. Laura & I began with a style of evocative imagery. Mysterious personal images to capture one central universal theme all us have as human beings: memory. This film is about a memory; two lovers whose story is told by one poem linking their years of memories together. I hope the audience feels relief, the same way when we eulogize a lover or a family memory. Sometimes running through all your memories is the first step in letting go.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
Emma's personal journey of eulogizing her lover Patrick is illustrated by a poem. As her poetic words carry throughout the film like a river, it runs past all the parts of her youth. This is a universal theme, since all of us long to understand our present circumstances by nostalgia. Memories from our past can be the fierce grace when our present lives are met with tragedy, as in Emma's case, the passing of her husband Patrick.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
I, Stefano, wrote this poem in 2010 for singer Kaitlyn Hickey who was from Arizona & recently moved to New York City. I was inspired by this woman's story. Her sense of adventure & trying to make something new of herself, a new home, a new life, and ultimately, new memories. Years later, Laura Pellegrini read the poem and was a major advocate in securing the financing & production risks associated with the film. Had it not been for Laura, the film would have never been made. She had the courage to shoot a film with me, in a country, where we had never traveled to before. And most importantly, with an entire crew that we were building from scratch. She saw the creative potential with a personal poem that could be understood by so many people.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
People sometimes cry at the end of the film, which is nice to see that they are emotionally moved.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
I think any piece of art that is stylistically set forth as an experiment can be challenging for the average film viewer. But honestly, who wants to be average? Nobody. So it's important not to dumb down your audience. They are human beings & anyone can understand the universal themes present in Before You Go.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
Press Releases & a distribution platform in Europe.
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
Laura & I invite many journalists to review our film. We welcome that very much. We would really love to have more reviews for the film, with formal write-ups.
In about six months, we will be seeking a sales agent to distribute the film.
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
We want this film to take people on a journey. To remind them of the joys of falling in love, the human struggle in loss, and the beauty of release. We want to give people space to feel all those things.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
Does human love exist beyond death?
How much courage does it take to risk loving someone with the knowledge, ahead of time, that they're going to die?
Would you like to add anything else?
Before You Go is an official selection and finalist for the 6th Annual Florence International Film Festival. It will be playing in competition on Friday, October 18th, at 3:00 PM, in Florence, Italy.
Laura and I want to extend our deepest gratitude to Lorcan Dunne, Dean Gordon, John Clarke, Eoghan McKenna, Promenade Post House Studios, and our producer Charles Randolph. Most importantly, the soul of our film: Rachel Kenny. Her performance is the amber light in a dark tunnel.
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
Currently, we are finishing a feature film called A Dream Beyond the Dark, co-starring Clara McGregor (Ewan McGregor's daughter), and Danielle Guldin. It is being produced by renowned New York producer Charles Randolph, and Hazel Rosen, who comes from a distinguished musical pedigree.
In November, Laura and I are finalists in an Oscar-qualifying Film Festival. Our documentary The Girl Who Cannot Speak, will be playing for two weeks at the St. Louis International Film Festival, as part of the United Nations Human Rights Film Series.
Interview: October 2019
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
Before You Go
We Are Nothing Without Our Memories.
Director: Stefano Da Fre and Laura Pellegrini
Producer: Charles Randolph
Writer: Stefano Da Fre
About the writer, director and producer:
Filmmaker STEFANO DA FRE is the President and owner of Rosso Films International. He won the Coup de Foudre at the Cannes Film Festival in 2018. Alongside his co-director, Laura Pellegrini, their documentary, The Girl Who Cannot Speak was screened at NBC's Meet the Press Film Festival (in collaboration with AFI) and at the Academy Award-Qualifying Festival REGARD. His production company Rosso Films International creates emerging political documentaries & narrative feature films about women, people of color, and disabilities.
Filmmaker LAURA PELLEGRINI is the Vice President and co-owner of Rosso Films International. Two of Laura’s films have premiered at the Cannes Film Festival. Alongside her co-director Stefano Da Frè, their film Tu Me Manques won Best Short Film at the Silk Road Film Festival in Dublin, Ireland. Their documentary The Girl Who Cannot Speak, was featured on NBC's streaming platform and was last screened at the Oscar-qualifying Festival REGARD.
CHARLES RANDOLPH is an American Screenwriter & Producer. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, and first began producing films with Academy-Award winner Ang Lee and James Schamus, a professor whom he met at New York University. He recently has a film that was distributed by Amazon Studios called American Fango, directed by Gabriele Altobelli. Mr. Randolph’s other credits include Love and Other Drugs, Taking Woodstock, and American Fango.
Key cast: Rachel Kenny (Emma) ; Stefano Da Fre (Patrick)
Looking for: sales agents, distributors, journalists, film festival directors, producers, buyers
Hashtags used: #beforeyougo #love #romanticdrama #filmisnotdead #dublin #irishfilm
Made in association with: Promenade Post House Productions
Funders: Charles Randolph and Lorcan Dunne
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month? The film will be screening at the International Film Festival of Florence, on Friday, October 18, 2019, at 3:00 pm!