Exclusive Interview with Roberto I. Ercolalo
THE CONTINENTAL FILM FESTIVAL PRESENTS
Mini Biography: Roberto I. Ercolalo (born in February 21, 1992) is an award-winning Italian-Argentine director, writer, and producer of shorts films based in Madrid, Spain. Ex. Judge of Los Angeles CineFest (California, USA). President of the Jury of Madrid Film Awards (Madrid, Spain) and Co-Founder and Director of the Buenos Aires International Film Festival (Official IMDb Qualifying Competition), BUEIFF Channel and BUEIFF Web Series Festival. His works have been selected and screened in more than 40 international festivals. Websites: https://robertoercolalo.com/ https://bueiff.com/
Winner of two official IMDb film festivals and invited to prestigious film festivals of New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood, Barcelona, Moscow, Beirut, Delhi, Amsterdam, Rome, among others.
He has received over 20 personal awards as a director and several other as a writer at many international film festivals around the world.
"Job Life" (Arg. 2018) – 97 Awards *
"Nature" (Italy, 2020) – 20 Awards *
- Congratulations for your remarkable short film! “Nature” has a great impact and a focus with a very defined personal stamp and it's surprising that not a single word is spoken in the movie. How did the idea come about?
I am glad that the film has managed to produce that effect; Initially, the idea came up for an England-based screenwriting festival whose theme was environment-oriented. Within the restrictions, a maximum of 3 characters and 2 locations could be placed. So I proposed to my friend Micaela Steinfeld (screenwriter) to put it together.
In the end, I decided not to send it and turn it into a short film. She agreed and a few months later the film project would begin. I think the use of the concept of "the sinister" was the key to achieving that thoughtful approach that you mentioned.
– Are you already work on a next short film?
Yes, recently I agreed on a proposal to direct one here in Spain. I have read the script and the truth is that it seemed like a very interesting idea. Especially for its short duration and versatility.
There has been a lot of discussions and what has caught me is that there will be two versions. A more extensive one for festivals in general and another exclusively focused on competitions of up to 1 minute. That it is a challenge that has always caught my attention and I am excited about the idea of participating in them.
- How would you define your personal experience with cinema as a filmmaker?
Well, filming is being part of that magic that is the cinema. It is where the words of a script come to life and we witness it, it could hardly be more comfortable than there.
I am fascinated by the "solutions" part, that is, that ingenuity that comes before an unforeseen event, in the middle of filming, with all the equipment and people waiting there, and the solution may result better than the original plan.
If I have to define my experience in one word, I would choose that: "ingenuity".
(German Böhm Morales and Roberto I. Ercolalo in Nature´s Backstage)
- About the backstages of “Nature” and “Job Life”, what were the most complex or difficult things you had to solve during filming (technically and/or emotionally)?
Well, several of the members of Job Life participated in Nature as well, so the atmosphere was perhaps more relaxed in the last one since most of us knew each other like a Joaquín (Rotelli), Tomás (Alegre), and Jeanette (Acosta), which are very close friends of mine.
Then, in the production and photography of Nature, Malena (Mastrangelo) and Martín (Méndez Canaro) joined and we create a great relationship both personally and professionally. Emotionally there was always a good vibe, the whole team was enthusiastic and with great humor. I still value that today, even in a day that has been especially long, the three actors continued with a smile from beginning to end.
I remember an episode in which there was no way to calibrate one of the stabilizers (laugh), it was the day of the scene in the forest and the sun was very strong that day, the weather was over 40 degrees. It was finally solved but at no time did there stop being an excellent atmosphere among everyone there.
- Do you have other scripts in mind?
Yes, in fact during the quarantine in Madrid, I was able to make a lot of progress in this regard. I finished four new short film scripts; one of them could be expanded to even a feature film.
Each one of a really varied theme to the other, and even at different epochs; However, as I have always said, every work tries to convey a message. I think that is what it is about, so the four plots are oriented to leave a reflection; all are shocking and raw in their specific contexts.
- What industry figure do you feel identified with, what have your influences been?
Uff .. is a difficult question, I think that each director leaves us a little brushstroke of them and it is not until after analyzing our work a lot that we manage to detect them. But I always admired Charles Chaplin and his immense talent for covering 4 or 5 tasks at the same time during the same movie, as well as Guiseppe Tornatore for his particular ability to convey intense and deep emotions through his plots and rhythms.
However, regarding identity, I would say without a doubt that: Fellini, Kubrick, and Aronofsky. I think they have influenced a good percentage in my way of focus film projects.
- Do you plan to make a full-length film?
I would certainly love it and think it is the long term goal, in fact, I have some ideas and writing. The one that would interest me most would be to expand the script for “Texturas”, which is a medium-length film in the “Amelie” style in terms of the treatment of the characters, but which appoints out the importance and effect that our senses have on the day, regarding each little thing around us and how it can affect sentimentally, emotionally and psychologically.
- Thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak with you!
Thanks to both of you. The truth has been a pleasure, I always enjoy talking about cinema.
We will be attentive to your next works!
Interview realized by Francis Thompson and Ana Groesky The Continental Film Festival I Press Team Los Angeles, California, USA.