Asra is a rare gem among short films that has the courage to give us a perspective on things that are difficult to talk about in today’s society.
In just 15 minutes in manages to give a profile of a certain society, creates relationships and gives us food for thought.
Caio Cortonesi, who’s written, directed and Produced Asra answered our quick questions:
There is an ad in a newspaper with your photo in it. What does it say?
Crazy artist crossed the world in pursuit of a dream: Pronounce his name correctly and win a lollipop!
When it comes to complexity and difficulty of producing an art work filmmaking is very close to the top. What makes the whole journey, often unpleasant, worthwhile for you?
It is indeed the most challenging art form there is. But the process of being in a set, juggling with all the complexities of the characters and story, creating that little universe inside a sandbox, is what makes me feel the most alive. I feel like I'm drowning in art. It is absolutely exciting, and having a good, relaxed crew it can also be a lot of fun.
Why this film?
This film is a prologue to a feature I was developing in 2017 - the film already had a terrific cast and crew, but I couldn't secure funding. Then, out of frustration, I had the idea for 'Asra', as a way to explore a bit of the backstory of some of the feature characters that were roaming my mind. It tells a story that, I think, must to be told: About difficult choices, cultural identity and ultimate dreams. Very pertinent to the present day, I believe.
You have unlimited budget, green light for your dream project and can cast anyone you want...
I have ideas for some pretty insane productions, but I like the notion of constrained budgets - it forces you to be creative and attentive to detail. But I like the idea of being able to create a 'parallel world' - it would be awesome to be able to let my imagination go in that direction. But, in the end, I would try to do what matters to me: To make the best film humanly possible, with responsibility and care, and tell a great unexpected story that wouldn't be told otherwise.
What are your future goals regarding filmmaking?
In the short term, I'm developing a quick, dirty and slightly complicated short film (my first to be shot in Europe, just finished the script). In the medium term, to be able to produce the features I already have written - four, so far - and some serial works as well. In the long term, to be able to keep doing what I love with integrity and consistency. That would be the ultimate dream.
Asra will be shown as part of April’s CineShots on 16.4.2019. Make sure you get your tickets here.
Enjoy the trailer and see you Tuesday!