Film director, screenwriter and producer Lou Di Giorgio on “Kristel”

Lou Di Giorgio, film director, screenwriter and producer – Photo by Ola Tyminska

NY Elite: Congratulations on being an ISC finalist. What does it mean for your work to be selected at the International Screenwriting Competition in New York?

Lou Di Giorgio: My hope is that this achievement will help to produce Kristel and get enough attention from the audience and film festivals to be interested to see it.

NY Elite: Can you tell us about the work that you participated with at ISC? What is the story about?

Lou Di Giorgio: Kristel is a story of a “sugar baby” who moves from New York to Europe with her family and where she has her secret life because she doesn’t want to study. It’s a kind of dark comedy based on true events regarding the financial crises which started with the Lehman Brothers, the crisis in Greece and finally the bankruptcy of Espirito Santo Bank in Portugal where millions of people lost all their savings.

NY Elite: Can you tell us yourself and your artistic talents?

Lou Di Giorgio: I don’t know if I’m the right person to speak about my talents, if I have any. All my life, since a kid, was into photography and I’m glad that at the end of the 80th I was able to shoot a collection of ethnic Polaroids in 8×10” size all around the world focalising of the beauty of different cultures, totally different in matter of values from the Western World, like Native Americans, the tribes in Papua New Guinea, etc. While I was a kid, my father had a big cinema theatre in Locarno (Switzerland) and I grow up in the film world due to the local International Film Festival, but I start to have interest into motion pictures from still photography only when the digital era began, having more freedom to live wherever in the world and not to stay close to film laboratories and big cities which I hate. That’s the reason I start to move into filmmaking, at the beginning with commercials and music videos which I still like to do.

NY Elite: What scripts have you written so far?

Lou Di Giorgio: I wrote two feature films, one is called “Crossing Borders” which is a comedy about Jewish, Muslim and Christians and the difficult they have to live together and Kristel, the one we are talking about in this interview, as well two shorts I produced and directed in this last 12 months, the first one “Locked Love” about the drama for love stories during the covid lockdown and more recently just finished to shoot “A Christmas Gift” (“Um Presente de Natal”) in Portuguese, based on a original Spanish script of Ainhoa Suarez Borges, a young A/V student in Tenerife of a professor, Antonello Borrata, friend of mine which I rewrote to make it more dramatic.

NY Elite: Top 3 favorite projects that you have been involved in?

Lou Di Giorgio: El Clan”, a Spanish movie of director Jaime Falero I produced and the two last shorts I directed and produced “Locked Love” and “A Christmas Gift”.

NY Elite: What type of scripts do you want to write in your career?

Lou Di Giorgio: I love comedies, but it’s very difficult to write something without a specific cultural background. What I want to say, humor in the UK, is different from Spain or the US and usually the set is very country oriented. With my international background and lifestyle, I have difficulties to imaging a comedy which could have an international audience. But in the same time is a challenge, so I’m sure I will find a way to write it.

NY Elite: As a writer, what is the most important aspect of building a character?

Lou Di Giorgio: Empathy: the audience need to feel being part of the story of those characters. Maybe that the reasons superheroes have such success. In case of Kristel she is really a kind of hero, very funny, everybody will love her. I did already the casting in New York, and the talent I found is amazing.

NY Elite: What projects are you currently working on?

Lou Di Giorgio: Making Kristel coming alive, finish to edit “A Christmas Gift” and bring it to film festivals and finally, to write the comedy I was talking about.

NY Elite: Do you express yourself creatively in any other ways?

Lou Di Giorgio: Cooking? I love cooking, photography, but I don’t do much recently. I guess what I love most recently is film directing: the interaction with talented actors is awesome! It’s like when I was shooting the big Polaroids: you create an image in front of you which doesn’t exist. With motion picture you do the same, with the motion and dialogues added. But the creative process is very similar: like cooking, you have something in mind and slowly, in front of you, everything is becoming real.

NY Elite: What advice would you give to someone who wants to have a career in filmmaking/writing?

Lou Di Giorgio: Change profession! We need engineers, skilled people like plumbers, carpenters, electricians. But if still someone want to make films, the 1st is to find a way to be on set: it’s the best school, apart having a base in a film academy like the NYFA

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