Italian filmmaker’s love affair with Smokey Mountain | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

It took a visit to Smokey Mountain in Tondo for Andrea Bosca to come to the realization that wealth did not necessarily equate to happiness.


“They are not linked!” Bosca said as if still in disbelief even after directing the short film “A Tutto Tondo,” about the friendship of an Italian lawyer and a Filipino family in Rome.


“A Tutto Tondo” had its Asian premiere during the MovieMov Italian film festival at the Cineplex of Shangri-La Plaza on July 24-27.


Bosca, who has declared his love for the Philippines, went to Smokey Mountain a couple of years ago to shoot a documentary. But what he received there was more than just the renowned hospitality of the Filipinos. He left the place filled with the desire to show to the rest of the world how Filipinos thrived daily amid poverty and suffering, with the smile on their faces intact.


“I was there for one afternoon and it affected me greatly,” Bosca said. “I wanted to show through the film that anyone can do anything when they have the support and love of their family or their community.”


Instant connection


Upon his return to Italy, he had a story in mind; but with no directing or writing experience, he was at a loss. That was until he was told about Benjamin Barcellano Jr., a Filipino actor living in Rome.


He met with Barcellano at a MovieMov soirée in Rome and instantly made a connection.


“He conquered me,” Bosca said. “His smile, it was real.”


For Bosca, it might have been a sign that the Filipino actor’s nickname was Ben, which was close to the Italian word for “good”, bene.


It was Barcellano who helped Bosca in characterizing the Filipinos in the story while also offering some directing advice.


“He read with me and he enabled me to meet the people that I needed for the film to be completed,” Bosca said. “He was the bridge to everything.”


Bridge between countries


That has been the goal of the MovieMov Italian film festival here in the Philippines—that is, to be a bridge between two distant countries through film. The third edition enjoyed great support by Filipinos who flocked to the Shang Cineplex over the weekend.


“This is exactly the bridge that an initiative like MovieMov wanted to build so I’m very, very happy with that,” said Italian Ambasssador Massimo Roscigno, who also expressed gratitude to Italy’s Goffredo Bettini for making MovieMov in the Philippines possible this year. “We hit the target of what we wanted to achieve. It’s going the right way.”


This year’s festival, which premiered for the first time in Asia seven of the most-awarded Italian movies of all time, was organized by Playtown Roma, and supported by the General Direction for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Heritage and Culture and the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Rome, in collaboration with the Embassy of Italy in the Philippines, Film Development Council and the Philippine-Italian Association.


MovieMov also had the support of Rustan’s, Shangri-La Plaza, Bench, Elburg Ship Management, Italian Maritime Academy, and Shangri-La Manila.


“The Philippines is experiencing an unprecedented growth,” said Senator Bettini. “The Philippines and Italy have common roots culturally, and especially when you talk about religion. But what I love most about the Filipino culture is that, while it has a desire to keep its tradition, it isn’t afraid to look towards the future.”



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