„It’s about knowing someone who knows somebody“ – Giovanna Nodari

By BERLIN LOVES YOU . March 25, 2015

Berlin is a great place for film makers, says Italian actress Giovanna Nodari, provided you find a wealthy production company – or people willing to fund an independent movie. Since her relocation from Rome to Kreuzberg she has experienced the typical ups and downs of creative professionals. But patience pays off: recently, she was asked to become producer of a movie filmed in Berlin.

© Efacts Photography / Frank Lassak
© Efacts Photography / Frank Lassak

Giovanna, three years ago you came from Rome to Berlin. And stayed. What did you find here that made you turn your back on the eternal city?

My initial plan was to move to Berlin for only one year. I had the idea that the city would give me a lot of energy and creative input – lasting impressions from earlier visits as a tourist. But what I found, when I settled here, was so inspiring and good that even after three years I don’t feel like buying a ticket back to Rome.

For example?

I met many interesting people. The kind that doesn’t question everything, but instead encourages you. Also, I moved here with my son, who still goes to primary school. He picked up German very well and really enjoys his new environment and friends. And with respect to professional things – there are some opportunities for me as an actress. Berlin is a great place for people working in the movie business. And on top of that, it’s a city that provides room for individual freedom – and protects it. Coming from Italy, this means a lot to me.

Did you have any specific plans for your career as an actress, when you came to Berlin?

No. My command of German wasn’t so good at that time, and I couldn’t expect to become invited to castings right away. Instead, I focused on my other job – designing, making furniture and objects, such as lamps, chairs etc. It went better than I had expected. Nevertheless, after a while I began to miss acting and started to establish new contacts in the film industry.

Yeah, right! We all do that, don’t we? I mean, how did you achieve that in a city that you weren’t so familiar with?

(smiles) It’s all about knowing someone who knows somebody – or something like that. But seriously, it was quite tough to enter the market here, because basically almost every creative professional wants to get a piece of the cake. In other words: to find an interesting movie production is relatively easy, since there are so many projects starting almost every day. That, however, doesn’t mean you automatically get a paid job in the project you like. Most film projects in Berlin are low or even no budget – which isn’t funny, if you want to make a living from it.

But you successfully hung in there, apparently.

I did. One day I met with Austrian director Mike Maria, who at that time also lived in Berlin. He was working on an idea for a movie and looking for a partner in crime, who could help produce it and possibly also play a part in it. Although I didn’t have much experience with producing, I was very interested, since the story sounded good and unique.

Could you reveal some details?

Essentially, it is a drama and love story set in today’s world of clashing cultures and rivaling belief systems.

Not exactly light fare …

Absolutely not! It’s a very intense script. Well written, with an artfully woven plot. I mean, to produce a modern drama you not only need excellent actors, but – at first – a believable and thrilling story that captures the viewer from start to finish. „The Salafist“, that’s the working title, provides all that and more. And, by the way, it’s inspired by true events.

You’re touching a very controversial subject.

Of course, but the current discussion about islamification and related things only sets the framework of the movie. The plot goes deeper into individual conflict, doesn’t remain on the political surface. However, I don’t want to spoil the story here. People should see the film and find out for themselves.

This will require some patience. The production hasn’t started yet, right?

It should start in early summer, the production still needs some additional funding. However, essential members of crew and cast are already on board. Script editing is in its final phase, locations have been found – the preparatory work is basically done.

And in order to go on, you’d have to raise more money …

Yes, we’ve recently launched a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo, where people get a lot of information on the movie and have a chance to support the production. There are also some positions available in the cast, and as soon as the campaign has been successfully completed, we’re going to commence with rehearsals, pre-production shots etc. And if anyone wants to offer help or advice, they are of course very welcome!


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Guest Post with interview and photo by Frank Lassak.

Frank Lassak is a journalist and photographer based in Berlin. Since the early 1990s he worked for various newspapers and magazines. In 2009 he founded Efacts Photography (www.efactsphoto.com), an atelier specialized in portrait and cinematic photography. His stories and pictures are found in international magazines like Vogue, Shoot Me! or Get Inspired.


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