Daniele Ciprì is a director, scriptwriter and director of photography from Palermo who was part of the crew that worked with Ficarra & Picone in their new movie entitled ‘Il primo Natale’. In his career he collected many awards both in Italy and abroad. He collaborated for many years with Franco Maresco, they directed together some popular movies such as ‘Lo zio di Brooklyn’ and ‘Totò che visse due volte’. Sicilian Secrets interviewed him.
Q: What does it mean for you to work in the movie industry and actually to make a movie?
A: To make a movie, you need a strong motivation, you must want to tell a story, otherwise you are just a technician. Nowadays everything is banal, and directors just think about how being successful in the box office, they count on special effects. In the past there were more directors who wanted to be innovative and make something with a soul. We don’t have to forget that like any other art, cinema (<< WATCH THIS VIDEO) is made to reflect.
Q: How did your career kick off?
A: Everything started from my greatest passion: to look through the objects and to work with a camera. I began with my father, who is a photographer. I used to edit some wedding videos, go to cineclub and there I had the opportunity to meet some people and create a sort of professional network. I remember that while I was shooting some documentaries for the RAI, at the same time I had to work as a wedding photographer. Then, I met Franco Maresco and we started a collaboration that gave us the opportunity to experience something new, to be focused on Sicily but avoiding stereotypes.
Q: And then Daniele Ciprì and Franco Maresco started working on TV…
A: When Franco and I met Anna Manzo, we started working on a local TV – TVM – and created a program that some journalists from Italia 1 really appreciated. So, we started working even for them while producing some short ‘intermissions’. This material was broadcasted even by the RAI for the show Blob. Then we worked for the show Avanzi, where we used to contribute directly from Sicily, and Cinico TV in the early ‘90s.
Q: Since you and Franco Maresco have broken your partnership, how did your career change?
A: Our partnership ended during the shooting of a documentary about Tony Scott in 2008, in the end Franco completed the movie, on the contrary I had decided to take a break from my job. Of course, it never happened: I still went on and Marco Bellocchio called me to make together the movie ‘Vincere’ in 2009. After that, I got an offer to make another movie as a director, in 2012. It was loosely based on a book by Roberto Alajmo, ‘È stato il figlio’ starring Toni Servillo.
Q: What’s the bond between Daniele Ciprì and Sicily?
A: Technically I left Sicily, but actually I didn’t do it. I moved from Palermo to Siracusa and live in Rome just for work. I speak Sicilian, not English. I never lost this strong bond with Sicily. It’s something I have inside, I love sicilianity and it helps me to find new ideas. Memories always keep me close to my island.
Q: You worked as a director of photography in the last movie by Ficarra & Picone, ‘Il primo Natale’. Can you tell us something about this experience?
A: To work with Salvo e Valentino was a wonderful experience. I got a phone call from them; they had the movie for me. I still remember when I talked to Ficarra, I told him that I had to film in Ireland, and he said ‘che ci devi fare in Irlanda che c’è friddu?’ (‘what do you have to do in Ireland? It’s too cold!’). They are fantastic. We shot in Morocco, they completely trusted me. In this movie there were some cinematographic elements that personally touched me.
Q: What about your future projects?
A: I’m currently working on a TV series by Niccolò Ammaniti entitled ‘Anna’. I’m working for an author but have to add something personal. We are filming all eight episodes in Sicily. In a while I’ll announce a new movie based on the relationship father-son, I’m going to be the director. It’s a little bit like ‘È stato il figlio’ but set in a visionary world.