A journey through the past, present and future of Italo Disco music.
Interview with Writer, Director, Producer Pietro Anton
Congratulations! Why did you make your film?
I have always been an 80s music freak, in love with synthesizer sounds. I was in my early 20s when I discovered again some of the tunes I first listened to as a child, which were (as I found out later) Italo Disco songs. I dug deeper and I discovered this huge untamed jungle made of underground italo stuff and I lost myself into it. I soon realized there was a big global community of Italo artists, producers and fans keeping the genre alive with their music, parties, radio stations, online mixes and live performances. I wanted to hear their stories and eventually find out what the Italo Disco Legacy is and how did this music survive. That's how the film started.
Imagine I’m a member of the audience. Why should I watch this film?
Italo Disco is a huge topic and there is always something new to discover about it, even for long-term Italo fanatics. This film is a good introduction to the genre for those not really aware of it and it offers some good stories from the very voices of its protagonists to those who already know the subject and are totally passionate about it.
How do personal and universal themes work in your film?
I believe universal themes truly work only if you look at them through a personal angle. They become less abstract and more real if they are linked to a personal story. In every story told in the film, even if related to the history of a music genre, you can feel the personal experiences of the storytellers and the feelings they have towards Italo itself.
How have the script and film evolved over the course of their development?
When I started this project I had no proper script except for a few basic questions I wanted to ask to the Italo artists and djs I liked and I had no idea about how many people would be involved in the end. To my great surprise, most of the people were really enthusiastic about the topic. Even world famous djs like DJ Hell and The Hacker didn't play the hard-to-get characters: although I contacted them on really short notice, they were really open and happy to be interviewed about one of their big musical passions.
Shooting the interviews was probably the best part of the project. First of all it gave me the chance to travel and meet in the flesh some personal heroes and key cult figures of the Italo scene, like Flemming Dalum, Fred Ventura, Rago & Farina, Robotnick and many others. After hearing their stories and discovering lots of things I didn't know myself about Italo, I started to figure out how to assemble them together. By the time I collected 40 interviews I decided it was time to lock myself in the editing room to shape the final structure of the movie, which was divided in chapters.
What type of feedback have you received so far?
I had the chance to attend many of the screenings across Europe so far, people's reactions were absolutely positive. Some people shouted with joy when their favorite tracks were played on the screen and laughed during the funny parts of the stories, which was what I hoped for. Italo Disco Legacy was premiered in Berlin's most important club, Berghain. The fact that a world famous techno temple chose to celebrate Italo is an explicit acknowledgment of the influence Italo had on modern electronic dance music. Seeing about a thousand people enjoying the film and dancing to Italo music all night long in Berghain was really impressive, it was an unforgettable night.
Has the feedback surprised or challenged your point of view?
The enthusiasm generated by the film was really unexpected and overwhelming, as an Italo Freak myself I couldn't help but thinking: “We are not alone”. Some people in the audience approached me after the screenings to tell me how the film triggered their curiosity for Italo, they wanted to know more about it. That was the best compliment I could possibly get.
What are you looking to achieve by having your film more visible on www.wearemovingstories.com?
I like the spirit of this initiative and I think it could help spread interest about the film. I checked some of the films already on the website and I was positively struck by their variety and by the wide spectrum of their themes
Who do you need to come on board (producers, sales agents, buyers, distributors, film festival directors, journalists) to amplify this film’s message?
“Italo Disco Legacy” is currently looking for buyers, broadcasters, film festival and distributors. You can get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
What type of impact and/or reception would you like this film to have?
I would like the film to become a little cult for the Italo fanatics around the world and a key to a new music universe for the viewers who hear about Italo for the first time.
What’s a key question that will help spark a debate or begin a conversation about this film?
What is Italo Disco? What's its cultural and musical heritage?
Would you like to add anything else?
Looking forward to the Australian Premiere at Melbourne Documentary Film Festival on 9th July!
What other projects are the key creatives developing or working on now?
I am currently working on a short documentary about the cult French Musician Bernard Fevre, aka Black Devil Disco Club, in collaboration with the music label Private Records, who also published the double vinyl soundtrack of Italo Disco Legacy.
Interview: July 2018
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Italo Disco Legacy
A journey through the past, present and future of Italo Disco music.
Length: 79 minutes
Pietro Anton, Director, Writer and Producer
Director: Born in Magenta (Italy) in 1978. After getting a degree in Film Studies in Bologna, Pietro Anton worked in the TV production industry, mainly in the news and sports environment. After moving to Berlin, he shot “Italo Disco Legacy”, his debut documentary film.
Key cast: Flemming Dalum, Fred Ventura, DJ Hell, The Hacker, Daniele Baldelli, Robotnick, Albert One, I-F, Ken Laszlo, Rago & Farina
Looking for: Buyers, distributors, film festival directors
Social media handles:
Hashtags you use: Italodisco, Italodiscolegacy, eighties, electronic music, synth
Funders: self produced - crowdfunding
Made in association with: M.C. L. (Musica di un certo Livello), Private Records.
Where can I watch it next and in the coming month?
Next screenings of the film are scheduled in Krakow, Glasgow, Berlin, Bristol, Miami, Paris and Rome. Follow us on Facebook to be updated.