One of the aims of the Italian week in Budapest this November was to support the application of the Prosecco Hills of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene for the title ‘UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage’. In the framework of the campaign, the movie ‘Finché c'è prosecco c'è speranza’ (As long as there is prosecco, there is hope), which debuted at Festival Venezia 2017, was screened for the first time in Hungary and followed by a tasting of the famous wine.
The director of the film, Antonio
Padovan was born and raised in Venice, Italy, but has lived in America for a
long time. He told Diplomacy&Trade, before the premier of his full-length
feature film, that he went to New York City as an architect but he always liked
films and he managed to get a film scholarship there. “After finishing the one-year
course, I decided not to go back to Italy because my girlfriend, my friends, my
job all tied me to New York City.”
Most of his films have been
shot in the West Village neighborhood of New York City. “I like this city a
lot. It is a place where a lot of different people live together, they live
nicely together and all this reflects my idea of the world,” the director said.
Although, he lives in the
United States, he chose an Italian theme for his first full-length feature
film. “This is the first time that a movie has been shot around the hills where
I was born. Those are the hills where they make Prosecco wine, an area about 40
kilometers from Venice in the northeast of Italy. I have been living in New
York City for almost 12 years and in the past few years, I have felt the need
to come back home. With this new job, I found a way to pay homage to my land.
It was a little bit of nostalgia, a little bit of my wish to show to the world
the place where I was born and grew up. For me, it is almost like a love letter
to my hometown.”
The film follows Inspector
Stucky investigating a series of murders and the theatrical suicide of
Desiderio Ancillotto, a count who lives in the hills of Conegliano and
Valdobbiadene, in a story that recounts the conflict between greed and respect
for the land. “I think the movie has a very strong message about justice. The bad
guys seem to be the good guys and vice versa. It is very hard for the main
character to understand who the bad guy is, but also, he talks about the environment
and how we want to either make money very quickly or think about how we live. In
a way, he celebrates a lifestyle that is a little bit slower, takes his time
and enjoys a slower rhythm,” the director summarized.
Antonio Padovan gave up being
an architect but he still likes architecture. “I really like the environment, a
little bit like Woody Allen did as the city became a character in his films. My
set designer said I am a ‘pain in the ass’ because I am always checking every
detail. He said ‘hey, you should look at the actors not the background!
However, I still use my architect’s eye.”
He explained why he works as a
writer and film director. “This prosecco movie was taken from a book of the
same title and I wrote the movie script together with the writer of the novel.
I do not think I could direct a movie that was written for somebody else or
write a movie for another director. So far, I have been lucky that I can do
both. Also, when I write I already know how I want to see it done. I am a
director in the first place and writing is what I have to go through to get the
movie done properly – it is part of the job. Some people like to write more, I
just prefer to direct.”