Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia

A journey of a debut film to Cannes

Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia are Sicilian writers-directors. They both worked as writers and consultants for a few Italian production companies. Today, Piazza and Grassadonia are still working as freelance script consultants, collaborating with several European workshops (e. g. Nisi Masa ESP, Torino FilmLab).

In 2004, together Piazza and Grassadonia wrote the film Ogni volta che te ne vai, a romantic musical comedy set among the night clubs of the Romagna coast, produced by Fandango. 

„It is difficult to say how and if we complete each other. We know that the best things we have ever made come from our endless conversations and from our conflicts. We believe in conflict as an essential part of our creative process. It took time and a lot of pain to learn how to manage it, but now we can and in the most useful way. Conflict is the main key to explore to the extreme the potential of an idea, of a theme, of a character, of a dramatic situation. Of course sometimes it is still hurting, but let us bleed…“

Their first film collaboration as screenwriters and directors was on Rita, a short film about a blind girl who offers a shelter for a boy on the run and suddenly finds him breaking into her home.  It became one of the most successful Italian short films ever. The film was shot in the problematic and fascinating Palermo neighbourhood of Arenella where they also shot their first feature film Salvo lately. Rita was presented at more than one hundred international film festivals (e.g. Dresden Film Festival, Tampere International Short Film Festival, Angers First Film Festival) and has won dozens of awards. 

„The short film was made when the script of SALVO already existed. Two different stories with key elements in common: a blind girl called Rita, Palermo, a stranger sneaking into Rita’s house as a turning point in the plot. The making of the short film has had a major influence on our idea of the character of Rita for Salvo’s story as well, and especially on our choice of how to stage her blindness.“

Piazza´s and Grassadonia´s first feature film Salvo, which tells a story about a Sicilian mafia hitman who spares the life of the blind sister of one of his victims, was premiered in 2013 at La Semaine de la Critique of the Cannes Film Festival, winning both top prizes Grand Prix and Prix Révélation

Piazza and Grassadonia with Salvo attended Script&Pitch and FrameWork at Torino Film Lab 2009. In the end, Salvo was assigned a Production Award of 140.000 Euros here. TORINO FILM LAB is a year-round, international laboratory that supports emerging talents from all over the world – with a special attention to those working on their first and second fiction feature films – through training, development and funding activities. Torino Film Lab runs several activities and offers various forms of support in training, development and funding. The training initiatives Script&Pitch, Audience Design, Writers' Room, and AdaptLab, as well as the pre - production - and development - focused FrameWork programme run parallel during the year. They all reach their conclusive moment at the Torino Film Lab Meeting Event in November during the Torino Film Festival, when projects are presented to a selected group of producers, sales agents, distributors and other professionals from all over the world working in independent filmmaking.

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Matthieu Darras , Head of Programmes for the Torino Film Lab, will moderate discussion with Antonio Piazza and Fabio Grassadonia during VFF 2015.