NAME: Franco Volpi
LOCATION: London, England
ORIGIN: Buenos Aires, Argentina
MAIN GENRE: Fiction
TRAINING: BA in Film Directing & MA in Filmmaking
ARTS AFFILIATIONS: London Film School
BIO: In 2015, Franco Volpi moved to the UK to study at the prestigious London Film School, chaired by OBE Mike Leigh. He graduated with Distinction in 2018 with an MA in Filmmaking. His short film, August Sun, was named a Finalist at the 2018 Student Academy Awards® and shortlisted for the 2018 BAFTA Student Film Awards. It was officially selected at 35 film festivals, including THE ARTISTS FORUM FESTIVAL OF THE MOVING IMAGE: 2018, where it won 3 of its 7 nominations: Best Narrative Short, Best Screenplay, and Best Actor (Miguel Di Lemme).
CAREER HIGHLIGHTS: August Sun (Writer/Director)
LATEST WORKS: So What Did We Learn Today, Georgina?
WORK SAMPLE: Sol de Augusto (August Sun) – Full version with English subtitles
Please describe your artistic themes
Regardless of genre or style, I think I’m mostly fascinated with themes of identity and family dynamics. The cinema of Ozu, for instance, resonates a lot with me. Another theme that I keep exploring is the one of perception; of how we perceive others, how we are constantly misjudging a book by its cover, and how that informs our daily decision-making – often for the worse.
Please describe your creative process
It’s a case of an idea finding its way into my consciousness, where it will stay lodged for a while, competing with other ideas. In time, one of these ideas will start cropping up more regularly, at which point I will start analyzing and exploring it. After that, from the moment I decide to sit down and put it in writing, I will have carefully thought about it, building it in my head, having done a bit of research. The actual writing is then quite straightforward and quick.
What are your artistic goals? What do you need to achieve them?
My long-term goal is to become feature film and television director. It’s very hard at first, when you’re just getting started. You can strive and toil for years, painstakingly going about building a tidy body of work before you get seriously noticed and given a break. Film funds, script labs, and film markets are all instrumental. But the cogs can move very slowly.
What are your views on the industry?
The industry is undergoing a profound transition in which nothing less than the moviegoing experience is at stake. The studios’ focus on ever bigger franchises, sequels, and blockbusters; the rise of the streaming giants; the pandemic have all accelerated these changes. I fear the industry is getting lost in a maze of its own making and we could potentially be looking at a long, long period of creative stagnation and fewer and fewer quality films. It could be a generation or two before we start coming back around, if ever.
What advice would you give to emerging artists?
In a way, there has never been a better time to be a filmmaker. The available technology allows us to shoot cheaper and quicker than ever before. That’s definitely a democratization in filmmaking. And, there are more and more outlets available. Maybe the film going experience is changing and something important is being lost, which is a great shame. But, on the other hand, there’s an ever-growing global market hungry for quality material. My advice is to figure out what you’re good at and what you really want to do as soon as possible and then work towards that, because there’s a market and an outlet for it. But, there’s an arms race of content and emerging filmmakers, so there is a lot of clutter, a lot of noise that can drown out the more original voices and interesting stories. It’s loud and chaotic. But, I always think the same: go with your gut feeling. If it has served you well in the past, it’s for a reason. Trust that.