Today we’d like to introduce you to Ciro Apicella.
Ciro, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
I grew up in a small beautiful town on the sea, not far away from Naples. Endless summers and cold winters. My identity is rooted in that culture. My small group of friends shaped my personality, humor… it’s where I learned how to stay alive and what I wanted from life.
Growing up, however, I felt a strong need to discover what was outside my beautiful bubble. Music was my weapon. Music translated in visual art at 18 years old when attended UAL Central Saint Martins in London. Playing around I discovered that my natural way of communicating is through moving images hence I decided to pursue filmmaking and transferred to UAL London College of Communication.
After 6 years in London, I moved to LA to attend the #1 Film School in the world: American Film Institute. I was one of 25 directors accepted that year from the whole world. During my time at AFI I learned from incredible masters such as:
Quentin Tarantino, Guillermo Del Toro, Paul Thomas Anderson, Sofia Coppola, Luca Guadagnino and many more.
We’d love to hear more about your work. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I make films, I write and direct them.
Everything started with the love for music which lead me to further explore the arts, especially moving images and sound. The way that sound affects the image fascinates me. This is how I understood that Filmmaking allowed me to communicate with the world and explore what it’s inside me using images and sounds. Through film I understand who I am and what’s happening around me. It’s my human and spiritual growth.
I get inspired by real events, which later become fiction and fiction becomes research to understand the times we live in.
In my films, I like to explore real human relationships, family and friendship.
My next film, that I hope to shoot in 2021, is about friendship, shared dreams and failure. The backdrop is a society in which my generation struggles to fit in, situations that take us away from comfort and loved ones, in search of a place where we are not put in boxes (physically and morally).
It is time to talk about this unspoken feeling shared by a whole generation. I hope to offer people a new insight on our private and social life, told in the specific way I see myself and my generation.
What do you know now that you wished you had learned earlier?
Be out there in the world. Find people that challenge what you think and what you make. Look around, understand what you want to make and how you want to communicate it. Explore the things you like and the things that make you uncomfortable. Find a community and if you don’t find one, make one.
I was lucky to have met my friends and collaborators at AFI, but that is not the only way. Being challenged everyday by people that work in your industry is the best way to grow and perfect your storytelling.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
I am beyond excited that my AFI thesis film, LUCE, has began its successful festival run. It has already been selected at the Wellington Independent Film Festival (New Zealand), Short to the Point (Romania) and the most prestigious short film festival in the US: AFI FEST 2020.
I am the co-founder of Plenty Good, founded in September 2019 (3 months after graduation), with 3 other incredibly talented writers-directors from AFI.
I am also working on a documentary on the African Diaspora towards Europe. It’s about the personal odyssey of a Guinean orphan who fled civil war, crossed the Sahara and the Mediterranean Sea in hope for a better life. I am eager to show it to the world as I believe it’s a relevant piece, it will change the minds of many people on the subject.