Antonia Tosini: Author, Screenwriter and Goodwill Ambassador Italy
Antonia Tosini: Dear Jessica, thank you so much. I’m really happy to have this interview.
Jessica Gilbert: What inspired you to become a writer? And where do you get the inspiration for your novels and screenplays?
Antonia Tosini: I have loved making up stories since childhood as I was a very imaginative child. I often find inspiration by reflecting on peoples lives and stories I try to share emotionally, or in crime news.
Jessica Gilbert: I know that you’ve written more screenplays than novels – about twenty five screenplays in total. What’s your process for writing a screenplay? And what is it about screenplays that you prefer over other types of writing?
Antonia Tosini: I do not think I’m different from others in the process of writing a screenplay. Obviously, when I get the right idea right I’m the firm and I immediately write down the subject. Later, I write the screenplay, which is the result of a writing process but I like to find in every theme and every kind of writing the key language.
What is important from my point of view is that the writing must meet the approval of pathos, the breath suspended in mid-air awaiting the next plot twist. Writing a film script is different from writing fiction, of course. The language of images is completely different from the one of words. A director thinks in terms of shapes. Its syntax, its logic, pass through the figurative representations of the imagination. While pass through a writer’s words. Cinema has always inspired literature. But a writer can not expect from a director to make photographs of his book; he must be free to create, so that his story takes shape through the images. The important thing is to always think that the cinema goers should not be committed to an only niche, films cannot and should not be made only for a few, but they should be for everyone.
Jessica Gilbert: You have various books out including: The Book of Life/Euthanasia Social, Bread and Sunflower, and The Pink Wound. Recently, you released a new one, The Wounded Rose – a bilingual book with poems about violence, rape, abuse, etc. And intertwined with opinions and testimonies of famous women in the world. Can you share one of your poems from your new book with us?
Antonia Tosini: Why not? There is one poem that conveys the rawness of the subject of the book well.
Young woman just bloomed
Like a white rose violated
Forced to give up your body
The beginning of a too hard a torture.
Hungry he gropes and possesses
Searching your young organ
Deaf to your anguished cries
The bastard opens your legs apart
With brutal strength he keeps you
At the mercy of his obscene pleasure
Naked, wet sweat smell
He forces your body in pain
He tears the corolla as to a flower
And burst open the veil of your purity ..
Violated, humiliated, overcome
On the floor le leaves you swollen and tumefied
Blood running down your legs
Shaking you stand, shoulders bent
Tormented and subdued your will
To a miserable without humanity
Jessica Gilbert: In addition to these books, you’re also featured in the book Dream Reachers ll by Betty Dravis and Chase Von (along with me and thirty two other inspiring people). Personally, I’m honored to be in this book alongside you and all the other inspiring, wonderful people featured in it. How does it feel being in Dream Reachers ll?
Antonia Tosini: Dream Reachers is a very important book for those of us who work in the entertainment world. It ‘a great and prestigious award and I am happy to be in it. Let me thank Betty Dravis through you; with her proverbial professionalism she gave me the chance to introduce myself to her many readers and tell them my story. A special thanks also to the poet Chase Von.
Jessica Gilbert: You’ve worked with some interesting people, such as Robert Reed Altman (Father of Robert Altman), Ennio Pontis – famous in the world of Italian cinema and also produced international major motion pictures with major international directors. Currently, your screenplay Between the Olive Trees is in film production with David Worth directing it. How is this coming along? And what other projects are in the works?
Antonia Tosini: With The secret of the Olive Trees (this is the definitive title) my producer Ennio Pontis has had problems with some foreign partners, but if all goes well (we are waiting for some answers) we should start filming this autumn. As for Robert Reed Altman (great Robert Altman’ son), we are still at an early stage meaning that we’ll start working on the project in 2012. When you decide to work with co-productions is certainly fantastic, but it takes longer than a film produced by a single production. I am currently writing a thriller on the world of Cinema in Hollywood, and I have proposed a great American director/producer, which already seems interested in the subject, of course, he must read the final draft of the screenplay.
Jessica Gilbert: Who are some authors/screenwriters you admire?
Antonia Tosini: I really like the writer Alberto Bevilacqua, who wrote and produced important films in the past. I also love the writer/director, Giuseppe Tornatore, who in my opinion is the biggest we have in Italy and can undoubtedly be compared to Sergio Leone (his mentor).
Jessica Gilbert: You are also the Goodwill Ambassador for Italy. Tell us how this came about and your duties as an ambassador.
Antonia Tosini: Thank you for this question, because it lets me once again to thank Bryant McGill, who gave me the opportunity to become an ambassador of peace for Italy, I do not hide that this appointment makes me very proud. Another special thanks to Laura Caliendo, who has translated the whole book, and also works with the translations of my screenplays. My work as an ambassador, however, is always to bring peace and promote it wherever I go. They often invite me to conferences as a speaker to give a voice to people in need, children and women. I also try to give an economic contribution with the books I write, in the sense that I give up my rights fully, to help the associations that work to help these people. In the case of The Wounded Rose, the proceeds will go to “Telefono Rosa” in Naples, managed by Dr. Laura Russo and that takes care of abused women, violated, raped, and so on….I am always interested in violence against the weak. I believe that violence, even when you have not suffered personally, culturally accept so. The violence against the weak is a wound that is inside all of us and no doubt we should talk more about it.
Jessica Gilbert: If you had the power to do something in the world today, what would it be and why?
Antonia Tosini: I would try to change people’s thoughts and words to transform them, to create benefits in our lives. What I mean is that if the whole world thought positively, respecting each other, there would not be wars, abuse, hunger etc…It would be like in heaven (perhaps even now am I being too fanciful?) But joking aside, i strongly believe that thoughts can change the world, if you just want it.
Jessica Gilbert: What is one of your favorite quotes (or lines) that inspires you?
Antonia Tosini: I really like the thought of M.Gandhi: “The man who prays will be at peace with himself and with the world, the man who takes care of the business world without an heart to prayer will be miserable and will make even the miserable world.”
Jessica Gilbert: Anything else you’d like to share? And where can our readers find out more about you, your work and to purchase your books?
Antonia Tosini: Another piece of news is that I’m going to organize an International Festival of scripts for next year, and I hope it can be within the Napoli Film Festival. Of course we will invite an internationally renowned director to be the president of the jury. Of course I keep fingers cross. As for my book The Wounded Rose will be published as a Christmas gift and you can ask for it at :
Piazza San Domenico Maggiore, 9
80134 – Napoli
Tel/fax +39 081 790 12 11
Jessica Gilbert: Thanks again for doing this interview. I wish you continued success and the best of luck with everything in the future.
Antonia Tosini: Thanks Jessica I really enjoyed talking with you. You were very kind to think of me for this nice interview. Thanks again and good luck to you too!