LONDON – Twenty years membership of The British Academy of Film and Television Arts was just one of the topics to come out during the interview with Clara Caleo Green. Ten Neapolitan students had the chance to discuss and ask questions to her Inside the magical atmosphere of the BAFTA Building.
How did your experience at BAFTA start?
It all began when I came to London at the age of 19. I was really fascinated by adult education but Italy didn’t give me the chance to work on that. I immediately understood that in London it was different: people without an education could fill their cultural gaps and rebuilt their lives (as I’ve seen in my personal experience) and it was the government that helped them out. Working as a teacher for 25 years I was also interested in literature and in the 90’s I started working with the new Italian Bookshop in London. There I one day saw a programme involving “Amore molesto”, a movie by Martone. In London the only Italian movies that were watched at the time were only the ones by De Sica and other traditional film directors. I discovered that in Scotland there was an Italian Film Festival, this came as a great surprise to me, so I decided to set as my goal in life to show Italian cinema in England.
How did you manage that?
As a beginner I knew that I needed sponsors but I didn’t how to get any, so I started from the top. I called companies like AGIP, ENI, FIAT, Alitalia. I should have expected refusals but they actually donated £500 each to the project. Their trust in me and what I was trying to achieve has been fundamental.
Which are the Italian films most appreciated by a British audience?
Considering that Italian humour is very different from English humour, comedies are not that successful but the films that brings out the darkest side of human nature are greatly applauded by the public and critics alike.
Among all the great personalities you have met during your experience, do you remember one with a particular affection?
Well, I met several talented actors like Eddy Redmayne and others who really struck me, but only Colin Firth really impressed me for his kindness. He is such a gentleman!
Roberta Caccavello, Chiara Calise Piro