Forse è solo mal di mare (Maybe It Is Just Seasickness) is a comedy with romantic tones, where the story of a father and daughter intertwines between love for an extraordinary land, the island of Linosa, and the desire to leave it. The movie created by Matteo Querci and written by Tommaso Santi boasts an exceptional cast (Paolo Bonacelli, Francesco Ciampi, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Barbara Enrichi, Annamaria Malipiero, Orfeo Orlando, Beatrice Ripa, Patrizia Schiavone, Cristian Stelluti) and it will be out in the month of May. Simona De Simone, also known under the pseudonym Nuanda Sheridan, is the movie director. Born in Puglia De Simone began working on movie sets as a director's assistant, before writing and directing Satyagraha, a medium-length movie with which she signed her first prize-winning work in various national and international festivals. It is in one of these that our roads crossed so I asked Simona if she was available for an interview… and so here we are.
How was the project for this movie born, what is the plot roughly and what we will find in cinemas in May?
The project was born during a journey by Matteo Querci to Linosa, a marvelous island that has kidnapped him to the point of wanting to set a movie there. To shoot a movie written and created by someone else is always a big responsibility, especially if the style is very different from one's own. Forse è solo mal di mare is an intense challenge, a parenthesis of my journey, a movie that I have in my heart. It tells the story of Francesco and his daughter Anita, both intent on overcoming the abandonment of Claudia, wife and mother fleeing from a life that makes her prisoner. In this beautiful island of three hundred inhabitants emerge bizarre characters, such as Nino, Amedeo, the parish priest and other islanders linked to the particular traditions of the place. Time passes relentlessly, punctuated by fishing and by "street cineforums", until Laura's arrival, which alters the balance of all the islanders, including that of Francesco. Actors who become inhabitants and inhabitants who become actors to give life to a simple story, which can gain the full trust of the spectator and let it be identified from the first images. On the other hand, who in their life did not find themselves still and afraid in front of the junction go-stay? Metaphor of an attack-detachment that does not only concern the places, but also the work, the friendships, the loves ... And who, in moments of vulnerability, did not experience the dilemma with sometimes tragic and sometimes comic nuances? Forse è solo mal di mare is a romantic comedy, just like our life.
Linosa is a magical and wild island. As soon as I set foot on that volcanic rock lost in the Mediterranean Sea I immediately experienced and understood the sensations that led Matteo to believe in this arduous undertaking.
Forse è solo mal di mare has a high quality cast. How was to work with them?
I am very grateful to Cibbè Film for giving me the opportunity to shoot my first feature film with a cast of great human and professional value. We worked side by side, serenely and incessantly, living together traditions, colors, flavors of an island that welcomed us for almost two months. A constructive experience for my journey, which has given life to indissoluble bonds.
Satyagraha was your first movie. How did the idea for this film come about and how did you develop it?
Satyagraha is the first result of my artistic and spiritual research. The film begins with a quote from Brian Weiss, according to which each of us, during his existence, could meet and recognize a soul with whom they have already shared other lives. Satyagraha, which derives from the Sanskrit and means "strength of love" and "firmness for the truth", tells the journey that a soul makes, reincarnating through the centuries, to rejoin another soul to which it is linked. The story moves on different narrative levels, which make use of a symbolism with an enigmatic content. A short film without dialogue, supported only by the voice of the protagonist and an original soundtrack, to lead the spectator on tiptoe into the intimacy of the characters, as if to make them witness to their silent secrets. I am very happy with the story it has had and continues to have, after many years, this film. It has been showed in Italy, Portugal, Argentina, Peru, Australia, Norway, Sweden, Russia and Nigeria, a goal above all my hopes and expectations.
What are your future projects?
I am currently busy writing my next feature film with the provisional title Secondo Isaia. I cannot anticipate much, except that I return to my genre, in an important new stage in my artistic and spiritual research.