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One-on-one with Giulio Pereno on 'Sleeping Close'

Giulio Pereno's journey into the realm of cinema is a tapestry woven with passion, patience, and profound artistic vision. With his film "Sleeping Close" receiving accolades at prestigious festivals like the Verona International Film Festival and the Cannes International Film Week, Pereno emerges as a distinct voice in contemporary filmmaking. In this exclusive interview, he provides insights into his creative process, the challenges encountered, and his aspirations for the future of cinema.

Could you share the inspiration behind "Sleeping Close" and its significance in your cinematic journey?

Giulio Pereno (GP): "Sleeping Close" represents a culmination of four years of dedication, encapsulating my personal journey through the prism of love and relationships. Its episodic structure allowed me to explore autobiographical themes and experiment with various directing techniques, marking a significant milestone in my artistic evolution.

What were the primary challenges you faced during its production?

GP: Shooting "Sleeping Close" over an extended period presented logistical and creative hurdles. Aligning scenes with specific seasons required meticulous planning, while managing a limited budget demanded resourcefulness and adaptability. Additionally, maintaining coherence amidst episodic filming posed a unique challenge that we successfully navigated. Despite the extended production timeline, "Sleeping Close" maintains a stylistic integrity that reflects my initial vision.

What aspect of the film are you particularly proud of?

GP: The film's visual and thematic coherence stands as a testament to our collaborative effort. Despite the extended production timeline, "Sleeping Close" maintains a stylistic integrity that reflects my initial vision. Furthermore, working with a diverse cast of talented actors enriched the narrative, offering a dynamic portrayal of human relationships. I'm also proud of the technical achievements we made with a limited budget, particularly in cinematography and sound design.

How did your journey into filmmaking unfold?

GP: My transition from painting to filmmaking was a natural evolution rooted in a desire for more expansive storytelling. Drawing inspiration from my background in painting, I approach filmmaking as a visual art form, prioritizing sensory experiences over conventional plot structures. Over time, I've developed a deep appreciation for the intersection of visuals, sound, and narrative in creating immersive cinematic experiences.

What new projects are you exploring for the future?

GP: While "Sleeping Close" offered a broad exploration of characters and themes, my focus for future projects is on deeper character studies within immersive environments. I aim to create narratives that allow protagonists to evolve organically, mirroring my own introspective journey. Additionally, I'm interested in exploring themes of identity, memory, and human connection in new and innovative ways.

What role do film festivals play in your career?

GP: Participating in festivals like Verona and Martinique has been an enriching experience, offering validation and exposure for my work. These platforms serve as catalysts for networking and collaboration, paving the way for broader audience engagement and professional opportunities. I'm grateful for the support and recognition "Sleeping Close" has received at these festivals, and I look forward to sharing future projects with similar audiences.

How do you envision the future of cinema?

GP: Cinema's enduring essence lies in its ability to evoke emotions and provoke introspection. As technology advances, I hope to see a return to slower, more contemplative storytelling, where silence and visual imagery take precedence over rapid narratives. Authenticity and human connection will continue to define the cinematic landscape. I believe that by embracing new technologies while staying true to the art form's core principles, filmmakers can create meaningful and impactful works that resonate with audiences across generations.

Which filmmakers do you admire and why?

GP: Andrei Tarkovsky and Béla Tarr exemplify cinematic mastery through their meticulous craftsmanship and profound thematic exploration. Their films resonate with me on a deeply spiritual and aesthetic level, inspiring my own artistic journey. Their ability to transcend storytelling conventions and delve into the depths of human experience is something I aspire to in my own work. Additionally, I draw inspiration from contemporary filmmakers who push the boundaries of cinematic expression, constantly challenging audiences to think and feel in new ways.

Any recent films that left a profound impact on you?

GP: Tarkovsky's "Nostalghia" and Tarr's "Werckmeister Harmonies" remain perennial sources of inspiration for me. Their cinematic language transcends storytelling, offering profound meditations on the human condition and the mysteries of existence. These films invite viewers to contemplate life's complexities and contradictions, leaving a lasting impression long after the credits roll. As I continue to explore the possibilities of cinema, I strive to create works that evoke a similar sense of wonder and introspection.


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