Virginia, a psychic living in a petrol station, doesn’t want her son to leave home – an old memory of a fire haunts her and starts to re-surface as a tragic flashback.

Director’s Vision

When I moved to the UK, I had to leave someone behind. Like for a sacrifice, the only thing I couldn’t take with me was my family and part of my identity. I started writing the script of Virginia as a memoir of my life experiences in Italy with the intention of making an emotional visual journey. It all started in Leeds, North Yorkshire and it culminated with the making of the short film. I didn’t want to write a story as I knew it was going to be something different, magical. A woman, a child and a dawn scene were the first frames I imagined. Bearing in mind where I lived, the social context, the historical moment and the Northern identity, I wanted to look beyond image, dialogue and what is normally perceivable from an Italian point of view. Only then, I assembled these elements in a story. When I finished writing, I discovered how hard it had been to that point to interpret the loss of a child for a middle-aged woman. An experience I can still hardly understand. From that point onwards it was a matter of untangling all the challenges presented in the script to best portray the dismay and despair of Virginia. The cast and locations would have made a huge difference in the storytelling. Acclaimed actress Lidia Vitale and the young Pedro Tamames helped me shaping the vision of the film with their thoroughly researched performances. Virginia and the actress blended in one single entity, which beautifully emerged on the screen. Lastly, I want to note that this is not only a celebration of family, but also an original view of its traditional cinematic representation. Between past and present, this is a fresh take on psychological instability and codependency, an intimate portrait about loneliness and yearning within a rural family household.