Italian Director Piero Messina on debut film, “The Wait” (L’Attesa)
Press Pass Latino reporter Jana Nagase of Jana on Camera caught up with Italian director Piero Messina in Los Angeles. Messina spoke to us about his debut movie, indie film “The Wait” (“L’Atessa” in Italian) which stars French actress Juliette Binoche. “The Wait” from production house Oscilloscope Laboratories tells the story of a mother, who unexpectedly welcomes her son’s girlfriend in her home, in Sicily, as they both await his arrival. It was co-written by Messina and Giacomo Bendotti, Illaria Macchia and Paolo Andrea Massara and was based on a play by Luigi Pirandello.
Here’s what “The Wait” director, Piero Messina had to say about the film:
PPL: “The Wait” (L’Atessa) is your debut film. How was the story born? Can you relate to it?
Piero Messina: “A friend of mine told me a true story about a man whose son had died, he said that at the funeral this man decided to ignore the fact that his son was dead. He would address his son as if he wasn’t present. All the other people at the funeral, out of respect for this man, decided to do the same thing and so, this story remained in my mind for a long time . But I only decided to do a film about it after one day as I was thinking about the story I realized that it brought back childhood memories. However, I didn’t know why it did and I started to think about that. Why would the story of this man bring back my childhood memories for me? I started writing in search of the answer.”
PPL: How was your movie pointed towards Luigi Pirandello’s tragedy La Vita Che Ti Diedi?
Piero Messina: “The story of Pirandello was given to me when I had already gone through the third version of the script. The character of the girlfriend that comes from France was inspired by this theatre piece.”
PPL: The cast is amazing, especially Juliette. What was the casting process like?
Piero Messina: “When the casting process started we were looking for someone like Juliette Binoche but we thought she was impossible to cast. We sent the script to her agent anyway and we were very surprised when we received a message saying that she had been very touched by the script. I went to Paris to meet with her at her house were we cooked together and talked about the film and after a while she said “See you in Sicily”. I have to admit from that point on there was a certain amount of chemistry between us.”
PPL: Why did you pick Sicily as the story’s setting?
Piero Messina: “This film is inspired by my childhood memories and for me the words “Sicily” and “childhood” are synonymous. They are two words that mean the same thing, so the selection of Sicily as a place for my movie came naturally.”
PPL: The characters in the film don’t want to face the reality of losing someone they love. Do you think there are many people who face similar fears?
Piero Messina: “Yes but the most important part of the film is that the characters decide to share this lie until by sharing it, it becomes the truth. This film is about the strength of this communion. In synthesis, this is a film about love.”
PPL: In your opinion, what’s the most important message in this film? What can the audience take from it?
Piero Messina: “If two people decide to believe together in something, it can become a truth.”
PPL: Are you working on any new projects right now?
Piero Messina: “Yes, I just finished a TV series in England and I’m starting to write my next feature film.”
“The Wait” starring Juliette Binoche, Giorgio Colangeli, Lou Laâge, Domenico Diele, Antonio Folletto and Corinna LoCastro premiered on Friday, May 20th in Miami, Florida at the Bill Cosford Cinema and will be shown on Friday, June 10th in Boca Raton, Florida in the Living Room Theaters. “The Wait” is also available in select theaters in Los Angeles, California and New York, New York.