Andrea Magnani talks about the making of his fantasy world, directed by Italian and Ukrainian actors in Jailbird

“I read an article that made me aware of the children of some convicts who are born and live with their mothers in prison for a few years,” said Italian tanker Andrea Magnani. diverse, ahead of the international premiere of the sophomore film “Jailbird” which is showing in main competition of the Turin Film Festival. The film is about a young Jecinto (Adriano Tardeolo), son of two inmates, who struggles to get out of the prison ward, until he takes part in a foot race that promises to change his life.

“This law is not intended to sever the relationship between these children and their mothers. I realized this was a very interesting starting point for telling a different kind of story, the story of a boy who grows up but can’t break free of his fears and his “cages”. […] This is something each of us may relate to.”

When asked if he had already considered Tardiolo and Giovanni Calcagno [starring as Jack, the only male officer within the walls of the female prison] As his leads during the writing phase, Magnani said: “No, when I’m writing I can never think of a face. That process takes place later. Of course, Adriano already had some of the qualities I was looking for in a Giacinto character.” [such as] His eyesight, his amazement at the world and the arrangement of things in it … […] It’s the look of innocence I’ve been looking for.”


“With Giovanni, we made his character starting with his appearance: his mustache, which looks almost fake, is real; his bushy eyebrows … The idea was to make him look almost like a monster, even though he would prove to be an endearing father figure.”

Talking about filming for the second time in Ukraine and directing Italian and Ukrainian actors, he said, “It was very easy. The interaction between the cast and crew was natural. We worked with the same co-producers and some crew members who worked on ‘Easy’.” [Magnani’s debut]. Many of the Ukrainian actors didn’t even speak English, so I had to work with a translator, but sometimes I explained myself simply with gestures. Despite the language gap, I was always aware of their great talent.

Andrea Magnani

“Jailbird” entered production in late summer last year and wrapped shooting after five weeks, with most of the interior scenes shot in Kyiv. Two of the most obvious storytelling references viewers may notice in Magnani’s fairy tale are Robert Zemeckis’ “Forrest Gump” and “Pinocchio”. “Forrest Gump” has been an important reference, and it’s one of the movies that inspired me from the start. But I realized there were some similarities to ‘Pinocchio’ along the way,” he admitted. “Two other noteworthy elements are the symmetry within the shots and the color palette chosen, which can also be seen as a tribute to the cinematography of Wes Anderson films.”

Magnani never thinks about the score while writing or filming: “Before adding the score, I finish the passage first, and then ask the composer to join me. It’s quite unusual, as composers usually start working on the score at a very early stage. I’m afraid it will hide Music has some speed issues, which I think should be fixed first.”

On this occasion, Fabrizio Mancinelli penned a very original piece of only two voices (soprano and tenor) mixed with some ambient sounds (such as footsteps or clapping of hands).

Working on the production design, courtesy of veteran Alexander Batenev, brought the bizarre world of Jailbeard to life, particularly the remote prison complex where most of the action takes place.

Magnani is currently developing a new picture based on his father’s life. “It’s a challenge I feel I have to take on now. It will be a ‘walking’ road movie, set a few kilometers away,” he said.

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