Ivan Cotroneo, screenwriter and film director, in London thanks to CinemaItaliaUK for the premiere of his film Un Bacio (One Kiss) had dedicated the last two years of his life to fight bullyism and homophobia.
‘The movie comes from the book with the same title I wrote a while ago. It’s the story of three teenagers, victimised by their friends for being different reasons. The idea came to be after the killing of Larry King, a Californian boy murdered by his friends because his sexual orientation. The victim was 15 year old and his murderer were 16. I wanted to see if in Italy something similar could have happened. I visited many schools to talk about the book first and the movie after and I realised that the young people were commonly addressed as ‘slut’ if girls and ‘faggot’ if guys. I wanted to explore the hate against the differences. Young people tend to conform to the rest of the group and do not accept someone who cross their line. High school can be an inferno for some people’.
You mentioned a killing in US but in Italy we has similar experiences…
‘Yes, and many more happened while I was writing the book. The way bullyism is perpetrated is the same everywhere. But where there are institutions that protect minorities ‘.
Social media have a big role in bullyism. What do you think school or family should do to educate children to the correct use of them?
First of all adults must intervene. I have known young people saved by their teachers and parents. But I think we should try to fight their fear, first of all. Fear of being judged, of other people consideration. And then we should explain clearly the consequences, also the legal ones, of their acts’.
You are interested in young people, as also your previous movie, La Criptonite nella Borsa’ has a small kid as main character.
‘Yes, because I remember all the books and movie that changed my perspective when I was young. My ideas on life, world, love were created through my readings. As a writer and director I’d like to have the same impact on young minds with my work. Coming of age is such an important moment in people’s life’.
What’s the difference between screenwriting and directing?
‘It’s has been a very natural passage for me. While I worked as screenwriter with great directors such as Maria Sole Tognazzi or Ferzan Ozpeteck I was always very much involved and I was asked to intervene in many choices. At a certain point I felt I was ready to go behind the camera’.
The DVD is available on Amazon from 21 November.