Paola Cireddu

Paola Cireddu is a journalist and a director/writer from Cagliari, Sardegna (Italia). Since she was a teenager she began to follow her passions of photography, music, cinema and writing, by experiencing and attending training courses of photography, video shooting, directing, editing and writing in many years. Holds a Master’s degree in Product Management and Communication and in Communication Sciences, both of them at the University of Cagliari, where attended other film courses.

She had various experiences in over thirteen years of movie set in Sardinia in the roles of assistant director and screenwriter. As a freelance professional journalist she works especially in the institutional and multimedia communication for some organizations in the cultural industry.

As a screenwriter she won in 2017 "Premio Solinas 2017 - Cantiere delle Storie” prize as the Best short film Subject and Screenplay’s "The market man" (L’uomo del mercato). In 2018 she directs her first short movie from her script (The market man, 2020 production – 20’), produced by the local company Bibigùla with the funding of the Sardinia Region (calls for the Development of Cinema in Sardinia), in collaboration with Celcam, University of Cagliari, and the participation of Premio Solinas. She’s a co-writer in 2020 of the webserie “ARTExhibition” (Karel) dedicated to the relationship between contemporary art and Sardinian identity.

“The market man” had its world premiere in October 2020 at Alice nella città, a special section of the “Rome Film Fest”. Since then the short film was selected, screened and awarded in several film festivals around the world.

Facebook: L’uomodelmercato_shortmovie
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1. Your project has entered in our festival. What is your project about?
The short film is called “The market man” and it’s about a real person who lives in the difficult suburb of Cagliari, my city. He walks for miles every day to pick up from the street the fruit and vegetable market crates, to sell them for a few cents. He carries that heavy burden on his back, made of more than dozens at a time, tightly tied together with a rope. While no one seems to notice him, except to harass him, he goes straight on his way with an extraordinary dignity, dreaming of some help. It’s a short movie about dignity and humanity in a world where the battle for survival is almost surreal and where even feelings most of the time are lost, and it gets harder and harder to give meaning to existence.

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2. What are your ambitions with your project?      
To share my story about this beautiful world featuring sharp and harsh contrast of color that draws on reality with a national and international audiences at the short film festivals around the world.

3. Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?
I choose to work with a cast made up of a non-professional actors, the real inhabitants of the popular neighborhood where the film is set. Many of the professionals I have involved into the crew were perplexed and very concerned about the outcome of the shoot, especially for Mario, the main character, a non-professional actor and the real Mario in life. But since day one and the first take, like all the other non-professional actors of the cast, he acted the lines of the script in a surprising and powerful way. The whole crew in the film-set at that point remained stunned and they had to change their mind, and it really creeped me out. Watching Mario (Tocco), and all the cast that I choose made by Alessio Arrais, Stefano Portas and Ester Casula, act on the set with their unique and expressive power, that obviously I had imagined but went beyond expectations, moved me and pleasantly surprised me a lot.

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4. For what group of spectators is your film targeted?
I wasn’t thinking to any kind of target audience when I decided to write and to shoot “The market man”. It’s a story that tells of lived reality and I think it belongs to everyone of us, of any social class, adults, young, children, from any country, city or nation, in which anyone I hope can recognize a piece of their own world, sometimes just what we are not able to see clearly around us. This is the power of the cinema. The other people’s stories, especially the less fortunate and the invisible “humans”, I think that reflect something pure of all humanity.

5. Why should distributors buy your film?
I really can’t say, but perhaps for the reasons I expressed in the previous question. I don’t know the dynamics of a distribution quite well, but I imagine that each distributor has different reason to choose a film rather than another, and that it depends also on the market logic to which they refer.

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6. How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?

I love to go deep into reality, I need to breathe and live the people and places of the story, and to bring all this pure poetry and expressive power through fiction on the big screen. Reality and fiction that together return the strenght of a story, that despite the peculiarity of the territory to which it belongs, it’s “universal” and help us to show and understand glimpses of real life to the margins of society that are usually not seen or maybe that we don’t want to see around us, so close, a stone’s throw from us. My film goes into that world, on the edge of town, it observes without judgment but with great respect its discomfort, its conflicts, its contradictions and its beauty. It goes straight on the poetry of his characters acted by the real people who live there, authentic protagonists of that powerful, difficult and real universe. This is the way I feel like the most natural and adherent to my personal vision of the world and of my work.

7. Why did you decided to become a filmmaker?
I think that it’s just my natural path. The passion for cinema as well as for writing, photography and music have always been at the center of my life since I was a teenager. I always had a camera in my hand and I’ve been taking pictures most of the time around my city and around abandoned factories and side streets, using and printing my rolls of film in black –and-white, or shooting video with any camera I could borrow from my friends. It has always been the right place where I felt better and could experiment and invent. I‘ve been going to the cinema d’essai since I was fifteen. I carried out all these passions since then, experiencing and attending training courses of photography, video shooting, directing, editing, writing. And naturally I merged that creative world and love for culture with my professional sphere as a freelance journalist especially as part of cultural events and festivals. I continued my studies at the university in Communication Sciences where I attended other film courses and several movie-set experiences. In 2017 at the conclusion of a training course in screenwriting organized by the Premio Solinas in collaboration with the University of Cagliari and Sassari my script of “The market man” was awarded as best subject and screenplay. And then came for me the natural urgency to direct it.

8. Who is your role model?
I don’t have a special role model but I love particularly some directors like Aki Kaurismaki, Ken Loach, Kim Ki Duk, Hu Bo, Cecilia Mangini, Pelin Esmer, Agnes Varda, Ildiko Enyedi, , Roberto Minervini, Matteo Garrone, Jonas Carpignano, Claudio Giovannesi, and of course Vittorio De Sica and Pierpaolo Pasolini, to name a few.

9. Which movies are your favorites? Why?
I have many favorite movies, but especially as mentioned above I love Aki Kaurismaki’s The man without a past, The other side of Hope, Light in the Dusk, or Loach’s The Angel’s Share, I, Daniel Blake, Sorry We Missed You; Kim Ki-duk’s The Isle and Bin-Jip 3 – Iron. I like too De Sica’s Umberto D.; Matteo Garrone’s The Embalmer, Gomorrah, Dogman; Ildiko Enyedi’s On Body and Soul; Pelin Esmer’s Watchtower, The Collector; Agnes Varda’s La Pointe Courte, Le bonheur; Cecilia Mangini’s Ignoti alla città, Stendalì, Essere Donne; Hu Bo’s An Elephant Still Sitting (powerful and painful); Sion Siono’s The whispering Star, Roberto Minervini’s The Other Side and his Texas Trilogy; Jonas Carpignano’s A Chambra; Claudio Giovannesi’s La paranza dei bambini, Wim Wender’s Wings of desire; Michael Cimino’s The Deer Hunter, Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, to name a few.

10. Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
I look for inspiration from the world around and strictly close to me. I’m always taking pictures and notes with my eyes and my smartphone. But, as happened for The market man, sometimes it is the stories that choose to meet you, and if your sensors are turned on and receptive towards them, those are the best stories you can tell.

11. Which topics interest you the most?
I’m very interested on the integration of narratives styles used in fiction and documentaries, the cinema of the real. A unique genre that deals with real and very topical issues far from any form of spectacularization.

12. What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?
To have place in many prestigious short film festival to share my works with the world.

13. What do you consider most important about filming?
The good relationship with the actors and with the people you choose to work with, and the honesty of the story. The joy of creating a film lies in the unpredictability of interpersonal relationship, in everything that makes us human beings.

14. Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?
I really like the shoulder shot, sometimes dirty but realistic that allows to enter the world of characters as you were part of their story. The search also for essentiality and naturalness of places, characters, enviroments. Open spaces in contrast to the narrow and degraded dimension of the neighiborhood. Timeless and unadorned atmospheres without patinas, where the color is closely and connected to the enviroment and the characters, and explodes more vivid in the light while inside they almost fade. As the dream and the real world.

15. How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?
I think that a very interesting scenario of new male and female directors from all over the world is opening more and more, thanks too to the film festivals and the increasing number of streaming services that offers, in addition to mainstream cinema in the movie theater, also a wide range of independent works and arthouse cinema.

16. What can disappoint you in a movie?
Banality, caption and cliché, to pursue unjustifiably only aesthetic purposes, or when the plot is implausible and the acting sterotyped. But it doesn’t mean that I don’t watch these kind of movies. I think you can learn a lot from movies that you disappoint too.

17. Who supports you in your film career?
Especially my family. But thanks too to the encouragement and support of some industry friend who believed in me, and helped me to gain more trust in myself.

18. What are the reactions to your film? (opinion of spectators, film critics, friends and family)
“The market man” since its world premiere in Rome has toured many festivals in Italy, Sardinia and all around the world. It received many appreciations and it was awarded too on several occasion even by a multicultural, international and extremely varied audience, jury of expert, finding everywhere great approval from critics and public. We are very honored and flattered for all these positive feedback and I can’t stop thanking all the people, festivals and audience who warmly welcomed the film, as well as my family, my friends, and all the people that I met since the premiere in Rome.

19. Have you already visited any of the prestigious film festivals?
Yes, The market man was selected, screened and awarded in several film festivals around the world. Here below are mentioned the prizes.

BEST SHORT FILM SUBJECT AND SCREENPLAY @ "Premio Solinas - Cantiere delle storie” 2017
LABOR PRIZE @ V-Art Festival Internazionale Immagine d’Autore 2021
BEST FIRST FEATURE SHORT FILM PREMIO FASI (ex aequo) @“Visioni Sarde/Visioni Italiane” (Bologna) 2021
AUDIENCE AWARD @ Positively Different Short Film Festival (Athens) 2022

20. What are your future plans in filmmaking carriere?
Continue to tell valuable stories from unexplored and powerful worlds.