ND/NF Discovery: Jonas Carpignano’s “The Plain” (Italy/USA)

The Plain
Our popular New Directors/New Films shorts showcase continues with Shorts Program 2, screening on March 31 and April 1. Jonas Carpignano's The Plain follows an African immigrant in Italy who "discovers the unexpected costs of his activism." Check out the trailer below and don't miss the screenings this weekend!



What was the most memorable day of shooting like?
The day we shot the riot. The atmosphere was unbelievable. We shut down the center of Gioia Tauro, we had the police and other security rerouting traffic and about half of the town was there to see what we were doing. I'd say we had closed to 300 spectators at all times from about 2pm until 2am. We rehearsed all day, then we just went for it. After that take was over, it was the most celebratory vibe one can imagine. The immigrants started chanting and singing and everyone in the town was applauding us. Everyone was hugging everyone, cops and immigrants, crew and locals. It was just magical. It's the reason why I love making films. It’s hard to find that kind of solidarity in others lines of work. Everyone, for that moment, was on the same page. It was great.

If you could work with any artist alive, who would it be and why?
Sergei Dvortsevoy. Just watch Tulpan and you'll understand why. That movie is just wonderful.

Describe your very first experience with filmmaking.
It was as exciting as watching a parked car....because I was actually watching a parked car. My first on-set job was as a PA on a movie called The Orphan King, and when you are just starting out you have to do a lot of  'fire watches"... I don't miss those, but that experience made it all feel possible and that was invaluable.

From what types of art, other than film, do you draw inspiration?
Photography. I love visual references.

What is your favorite food to eat on set?
I worked on this one film in Northern Italy about 6 years ago and the electricians would take 2Ks and point them straight into the air in order to heat up these little pizzas on the scrims. They were delicious. I'm going to try and find those guys
before I shoot my next film.

Who do you think are the most important voices in Italian Cinema?
Italian Cinema is not in great shape, but there are some amazing films and filmmakers working there right now. My favorites of recent years are Corpo Celeste by Alice Rohrwacher, La Pivellina by Tizza Cozzi and Rainer Fremmel, Le Quattro Volte by Michelangelo Fammartino and La Bocca del Lupo by Pietro Marcello. These are some seriously good films, word on the street is that Diaz is good also, but I haven't had a chance to see it yet. Oh yeah, and I can't not mention my admiration for Matteo Garrone. He's like the godfather.

Shorts Program 2 screens on March 31 and April 1.

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