Angelo Donzella was born in Turin in 1964. He has three great passions: music, photography and cinema. He has played in some rock bands since 1982 and, since 1983, has been cultivating the art of photography. Since 1993 he has shown his love for cinema, starring in many feature films and short films.

The need to express himself through the use of images (borrowed from his love for photography)
led him to make his first short film as a director. ISOLATION was created during the 2020 lockdown, with the help of director Roberto Loiacono. Angelo Donzella in this short film, in addition to working as a director, played the role of leading actor, winning multiple international awards as best actor. 2022 is the year in which he made his second job as a director (this time alone): it is the short film
Jasmine’s Suspicion, a “Spy Movie”. In January 2023 he created UNEASE in just one month of intense work.

Hi Angelo, nice to meet you and thanks for granting us this interview.

How was born your passion for the world of cinema?

I have always loved cinema, as I think we all do.
My love for cinema, understood in the technical sense, blossomed through a 30-year friendship with
director Roberto Loiacono. In 1992, at his home, I saw Bruce Robinson’s thriller “Jennifer 8” for the
first time. I was impressed, right from the opening credits, by the images and Christopher Young’s
wonderful score.
From there, thanks to my first acting role in the feature film “Equivox” by Roberto Loiacono, my
long career in cinema began. Working in many of his feature films, I learned notions and techniques
of the film world, a reality that I consider extremely fascinating.
Then, having a passion for photography, the jump was almost automatic for me.
I find continuous inspiration in films and TV series, of which I have become a great collector.

What was your first movie?

During the Covid 19 pandemic, Italy’s March-May 2020 lockdown forced us into a long shutdown.
At that time I was watching the TV series Better Call Saul, whose use of black and white for some
sequences struck me. I drew inspiration from it to make something original, after all, my creative
and dynamic mind did not allow me to remain inert for too long. Thanks to the collaboration of my
wife Maria Rosaria Scicchitano, who conceived the subject of the short film “Isolation,” I decided
to start, with the help of my friend Roberto Loiacono, my first project as a director.
At home I shot the scenes in black and white, playing the role of the main character. Loiacono was
in charge of directing the second part, shot at the end of the lockdown, editing and production.
With Isolation I won several best actor awards.

What do you think about the world of independent film festivals?

Some festivals (of which RFA is definitely one) are well thought out and put on by people whose
expertise, professionalism and passion for filmmaking are immediately apparent. However, I must
also admit that choosing the festivals to which I send my projects is a very time-consuming activity.
In fact, the choice is always preceded by a thorough analysis in order to choose those with certain
requirements, which are essential for me.
Festivals that inspire their work with a love of cinema and that aim to support and provide a service
to independent filmmakers attract my attention. Conversely, I immediately discard those that give
me the feeling that they are primarily interested in raising money.

What advice would you give an aspiring filmmaker?

I honestly don’t feel up to dispensing advice. Despite my advanced age, I am the one who needs it.
The only advice I would feel like giving to an aspiring filmmaker is to always place great emphasis
on content, no matter what genre of film you intend to make. Technical virtuosity, if an end in itself,
is not essential, in my opinion, to making a good project.

In the independent world it is very hard to live only like filmmaker, especially in some
countries where culture and art are underrated, what do you think about this? Can you live
working like filmmaker or do you need to do another work?

Unfortunately, this is a bitter truth. In fact, as an independent filmmaker, I have been forced to self-
produce all the projects made so far only with the help of my wife. I absolutely cannot make a
living exclusively doing filmmaking, although I would like to be able to do so in the future.
Italy, which boasts a past of very high culture-in general, as well as in film-should, in my opinion,
create the conditions for the artistic abilities of those with talent to emerge, while also providing
concrete aid for constant growth in this area.

Tell us about the RFA winning movies’s “Unease”.

The human mind is really fragile. Since the pandemic broke out, I have heard many accounts of
young people and adults struggling to readjust to reality. Some live in a situation of discomfort, of
detachment from the rest of the world; others can no longer leave home. With UNEASE I wanted to
represent – cinematically and through my personal vision – this very widespread malaise. In January
2023 my wife Maria Rosaria Scicchitano wrote the screenplay for UNEASE. The project was made
in just one month of intense work and, as early as February, it was sent to the first festivals.

There are some directors that inspiring you and why?

To name just a few, I admire directors such as Michael Mann, David Fincher, Clint Eastwood, Jim
Jarmush, Christopher Nolan… who are sources of enlightenment for me, although I feel more akin
to director M. Night Shyamalan, in that I love, like him, to characterize my short films with the
inclusion of “a surprise ending.”

You are also an actor, do you prefer to stay behind or in front of the camera?

These are two different realities and both are fascinating.
Acting allows me to live so many experiences, through the characters I play, plus going on set loads
me with adrenaline.
The director has many more responsibilities than a mere actor, because he has to pay attention to
everything-which is not always easy-but the ultimate gratification amply rewards the sacrifices.
Sometimes I like to make projects without having planned anything, simply because I am inspired
by a place or situation. To give an example, in August 2022, I had my SLR camera with me on
vacation, which I always carry with me. Although I did not have the necessary video equipment or
lights, I decided to shoot a short film. It was a risky choice, which forced me to work with the use of
natural light only, but I wanted to follow my instincts, which often proved to be my winning
Once I arrived in Turin, looking back at the scenes shot on vacation, I was satisfied and completed
the short film – to which I gave the name “Jasmine’s Suspicion” – with other scenes shot here,
including the opening and final scenes.

What are your future projects?

A few days ago I started working on the pre-production of my next short-medium film, which will
be titled “SURVEILLANCE.”
After Jasmine’s Suspicion this is my second spy-thriller.
This new project will have a mystery plot, but characterized by little action.
Immediately after that I would like to go one step further and try to make a feature film for which I
already have the screenplay, also written by Maria Rosaria Scicchitano. It is a dramatic film,
steeped in supernatural veins.

Any final thoughts at the end of this interview?

I want to renew my sincere thanks to your RFA Festival for the award of Best Italian Short to
UNEASE in April 2023.

External Links of Angelo Donzella