Q&A with Andrea Brusa and Marco Scotuzzi, directors of Le Voci Sole (Lonely Voices)
Monday 18 April 2022, by
Following a spate of successful shorts - the excellent Magic Alps caught our attention at Clermont-Ferrand - Italian filmmaking duo Andrea Brusa and Marco Scotuzzi, and regular collaborator producer Andrea Italia, are back, this time with their first feature film, which is currently touring festivals.
We talk to Andrea Brusa about Le Voci Sole (Lonely Voices):
One family’s life goes haywire at the start of the pandemic as the matriarch-now without her steady housekeeper income-encounters a new kind of fame and celebrity when she begins teaching cooking lessons over the internet.
Your shorts did very well on the festival circuit. Did that help you develop your feature?
Definitely yes. The experience we had on shooting shorts was so formative because you are constantly dealing with limitations: budget, shooting days, locations... Which is great training for always trying to focus on the core of the story. Also, when working on a short film you need to supervise every single aspect of the production as director, which is pretty much the same mind frame you need to have when you film an indie feature.
Where did you get the idea from?
We have always told stories about underdogs trapped in situations bigger than them. Many times grotesque and surreal tales about characters dealing with invisible and powerful antagonists. For that reason, we were quite intrigued by the world of the internet, the sudden fame that can surround many of the people living in that ecosystem. And slowly the idea of this family and its nightmare experience came together.
Have you faced any hurdles?
Constant hurdles. It’s an indie film so we had all the typical issues related to a small production, plus we shot it in the middle of the second wave of Covid, when North Italy was the epicenter of the pandemic in Europe. Curfew, every kind of limitations and then we had a crew member who tested positive just after few days of shooting. We had to stop filming and it took four months to go back again. That was definitely the hardest moment, for tiny films like this an event of that magnitude that can easily kill the production. We were lucky enough to have a terrific team, cast and crew, we supported each other a lot and we were all very determined to finish the film at any cost.
How did you get the team together in terms of cast and crew?
In terms of the crew, we shot several short films in the last few years so we have a cohesive team of professionals who always work for us. And this is so important, it’s a matter of trust and pleasure to be around the people who know you very well and know how you like to work. For the cast, we were so enthusiastic to be back working with Giovanni Storti for the second time. He loved the script. He is a comedic legend here in Italy, we had worked with him before one one of our shorts and it was such a beautiful experience. This is the first time he plays a dramatic role in a feature film and he was fantastic. Since it’s a story of a family we talked with him about casting his wife and son, because we wanted to be sure there was a real chemistry with all of them both in real life and on screen. So we cast Alessandra Faiella, another comedic legend both on TV and stage, as the co-protagonist, and Davide Calgaro, a rising star with already a great experience in comedy, who were both extraordinary.
How did you get the project off the ground, in terms of production etc?
Together with Andrea Italia, our producer who has got all our previous work off the ground, we founded a production company, Nieminen Film. Andrea was key in getting the financing together and creating partnerships with other important players, such as Eliseo Multimedia, who produced the last two of Polanski’s films. With Nieminen Film we have also produced shorts not directed by us, like "Inchei" which was selected at the Venice International Film Critics’ Week at the Venice Film Festival where it won best film and best director.
How are you finding working together on a feature? Is it any different to a short?
Not really. Just a longer pre-production stage and more shooting days. As for the daily work on set, there’s no real difference.
Are either of you working on side projects?
We just shot our new short film, "Waterloo". It’s a story quite different to our usual work, well maybe not that much...
Get updates on Andrea’s work on here.