Janvier, 2024




Alessandro, tell us a bit more about yourself. Where does your desire to be a director come from?

I never think about myself as a director. Since I was about fourteen I had a desire of telling stories, especially writing them down. I think about myself as a storyteller. In years, I tried to find the best instrument possible for a story to be appreciated, and cinema is a wonderful instrument.

What is your background?

My main focus has always been on writing. I come from theatre, I started as a playwright when I was eighteen as directors found out that some of my stories fitted well on stage. At twenty-two, I realized that directing could give me the chance to have new instruments to play with, when telling a story. As cinema has always been a huge passion for me I later on started switching some stories from stage to camera.

What were your reference for Stoker?

I remember when I was in school that my English teacher told us that Bram Stoker wrote Dracula after eating too much seafood and a night of nightmares. It’s something that they actually often teach in school, but as an author I can say that the process is much more complicated. I started investigating what could have been the references for Stoker to write Dracula and I found out that most was stolen from the studies of Armin Vambery, a professor of languages in the University of Budapest with a huge passion for the eastern Europe myths and legends, and decided to write and shoot a movie about the true story.

Alessandro, you won an Honorable Mention for Best Horror at the RED Movie Awards, what does that mean to you?

I am very proud about this Honorable Mention. I was quite afraid that such an unusual story could be interesting only for a very narrow niche, but the story and the movie are actually receiving great feedbacks that make me sincerely happy about my work.

Since the creation of cinema and Nosferatu, Vampire stories have been the heyday of cinema, how have you renewed the genre?

Of course vampires have always been in the group of the most beloved “monsters” in horror movies, and Dracula is the most represented character in cinema history, so it’s not easy to show something new. I started the creation of our own vampire working on the aesthetic of the Nosferatu of Murnau and the one of Herzog. I wanted him to look frightening without making it look too much cartoonish. Quite human-looking but frightening, how I imagined Stoker could have first thought of his creature.

Is a film produced by a production company or self-produced?

As it was my directorial debut it was not easy to find financing for the project, I opened Underluminal as my production company and self-produced the movie with the help of local authorities.

What was the biggest challenge in this project?

All the nightmare, that is actually the “heart” of the movie, is shot inside historical natural caves: that set specifically was very complicated as we were many meters underground in narrow corridors with very little lighting, low temperatures and high humidity. To organise the lights of that scenes was quite complicated.

Do you have an anecdote to share with us in particular?

We shot the movie in three days and the second one was the birthday of the actor who played our own Nosferatu. We finished shooting quite late, so he arrived at dinner with still part of his make-up on, since it was a very “heavy” make-up to transform him into a vampire and it took a lot of time both to put on (about two and half hours) and take off. So we organized a cake for him with the candles 6-6-6. Not something usual!

What is your next project?

I recently finished my second short movie, Dèrniere Plage, the story of two lovers that meet again after a break-up, and started working on my first feature film. I still have many stories to tell!