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New York International Independent Film and Video Festival









The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993 by entertainment impresario Stuart Alson and showcases independent films in real theatres in New York City and LA.
Passionate about exposing the films and documentaries of emerging filmmakers from all over the globe, NYIIFVF is a unique platform for emerging and established filmmakers to network and screen their work in the hope of getting exposure and a distribution deal.
Past festivals have included the work of Calista Flockhart, Cameron Diaz, Eva Herzigova, Guy Pearce, George Clooney, Jennifer Aniston, Rod Steiger, Sean Lennon, Tippi Hedren, Willem Dafoe and Vin Diesel. Indie guru Abel Ferrara famously quoted in MovieMaker, "This festival is the real deal: Everybody else just talks about doing it, these guys just do it!”



NYIIFVF Award Winner Gianmarco Galassi Briefly Talks about Italian Cinema & Meeting Abel Ferrara

NYIIFVF Award Winner Gianmarco Galassi Briefly Talks about Italian Cinema & Meeting Abel Ferrara

By Anoo Cottoor


IFQ: Tell me how you got started in your career as a filmmaker. <br>Gianmarco Galassi: I've always loved cinema since I was a child. I started studying acting at school, but then I understood that I wanted to make movies. I said to myself, “Let’s try, I want to do it, nothing is impossible.” And I started to shoot my short movies. I never went to a film school, but I worked in some little productions and a filming troupe and I shot films by myself…it helped me a lot. I prefer the direct and practical approach. I also met fantastic people and professionals, like my Director of Photography Marina Kissopoulos. 


IFQ: In March 2009, your film Panama screened at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival (NYIIFVF), where Italian-American Director Abel Ferrara served as Festival President. Tell me about your experience at the festival and meeting Abel. 


GG: It was a fantastic experience; I learned a lot. I could compare myself with other filmmakers. I watched a lot of films and met a lot of interesting people from all around the world, especially from the USA. The seminars were very important. I had a fantastic projection of my movie and the parties were very nice. I met Abel; he’s unique like his style. He’s very friendly and told me some important advice, but it’s a secret. <br>IFQ: Panama won several awards at the NYIIFVF: Best International Directorial Debut – Gianmarco Galassi for Panama, Best International Noir Feature Film. How has your film been received on the film festival circuit thus far?                  


GG: I have to say very well, especially outside of my country. I just received another award in Cairo at the International Film Festival Egypt: Best Student and Young Filmmaker Film. They liked Panama a lot. I’ve received nominations in three other festivals and now I just have to wait. This is a fantastic year. I wasn’t able to believe to my eyes. I’m very happy. I want to say “Thank you” to the jury and to the audience of the festival in New York. To win these important awards in this prestigious festival, I have no words to describe my emotions.             


IFQ: Why did you choose to independently create and produce your feature film directorial debut?             


GG: It was the only solution for shooting this film. In my country, it’s very difficult to create this kind of film when you are only twenty years old. People often don’t trust in you at a young age. Some people told me that I have all the time to find money. No, I do not have all the time. I wanted to shoot this movie in that period and I did it with my money.                          


IFQ: How did the idea of Panama come about?    


GG: I wrote the screenplay of Panama in a week and we shot it a few days later. I wanted to give the protagonist role to a villain, Mr. Sensini, a character who had a supporting role in my old film. I wanted to dream and do an ambitious film in ’60’s style with a lot of charming elements.


IFQ: Which directors and writers influenced your directing and writing styles, particularly on Panama?


GG: I love a lot of films of the ’60s and ’70s, but there are two very important directors that influenced me and especially on this movie: Roman Polanski and Sergio Leone. I love their movies; they did something incredible—they changed cinema. In a film, I love the actors (the characters) and atmosphere, and I think that both of these artists were and are unique about these aspects and I wanted to give to my film these important characteristics. The first films of James Bond helped me for this film too. As writer, I adore Agatha Christie.


IFQ: What are your personal thoughts on ’60s Italian cinema?        


GG: It was a fabulous period for our cinema—surely the best for quality, quantity and variety. In that period, our cinema was an “industry.” The society was dynamic and hopeful. People wanted to dream and were able to do it. There were great producers and personalities: Antonioni, Fellini, Leone, Pontecorvo, De sica, Visconti and above all there were young directors. In that period, they gave young people the chance. If you think about Bernardo Bertolucci, he was twenty in his first feature film. I think that enthusiasm and hope for the future were the keys.


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About New York International Independent Film and Video Festival

(The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival )

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The New York International Independent Film and Video Festival was founded in 1993. NYIIFVF has been recognized by the film and entertainment industry as one of the leading film events on the independent festival circuit. The festival hosts film, music and art events in the two entertainment capitals of the United States: New York and Los Angeles.

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