Midlands Spotlight - Worcester filmmakers Fernando Maffei and Lawrence Donello
By midlandsmovies, Feb 19 2017 09:35PM
After covering 2015 film The Taxi Midlands Movies hitches another ride to talk to Worcestershire based filmmakers TestaRossa Productions about their latest project.
The Taxi’s writer-director Fernando Maffei is now deep in production on Artichoke, a brand new English/Italian crime film shot in Worcester. The story concerns a Mafia hitman who is sent to England to do a job for an old boss but who ends up having his loyalties violently tested.
Fernando and his Midlands-based crew have now wrapped on their first feature and are currently in post-production where the Kidderminster-based filmmaker has again worked with producer Lawrence Donello from Worcester. Aside from The Taxi, the duo have worked on several short films including Who’s There and Homeland all of which were shot in the region.
A thoroughly Midlands cast is led by Jetinder Summan (Holby City, Doctors) as well as emerging talent Greg Hobbs (Doctors, Who's There) Sophie Canare (Who's There, Homeland) Francesco Tribuzio (Age of Kill, The Taxi) and Worcester's own Hollywood connection Vincenzo Nicoli (Alien 3, The Dark Knight) .
Using a micro-budget and a mostly local crew, the team did not limit themselves to the region alone and went as far to enlist the help of notable Director of Photography Lisa Muzzulini who spends her time between UK, NY and Berlin.
And finally, make-up artist Charlotte Pingriff (PrettyScary Youtube channel) has created a host of aesthetic designs including bleeding statues, bruised faces and also assisting with the special effects for the film whilst Lawrence and Fernando hope the feature will generate further opportunities for local film technicians.
“We would like artists to get to work in the industry by making high end features locally which will pave the way for them to work on bigger budgeted features such as those shot recently in Midlands including Spielberg's Ready Player One and Michael Keaton's American Assassin currently filming in Birmingham”.
And with talk of a film studio being built by Steven Knight (Peaky Blinders, Taboo) the opportunities can only increase, with the producers of Artichoke also believing strongly in promoting the region as a film friendly destination.
“We had an amazing crew who were pushed to their limits on such a tight schedule but they delivered”.
Once fully completed, Artichoke hopes to be selected into film festivals worldwide as well as ultimately securing distribution. And following that, Lawrence and Fernando even have their next film lined up (LUCIO) AND their next feature (BARGAIN) which has been the culmination of several years work.
To find out more about Artichoke please follow on their official Facebook page here: