Movies You Made: “ITILY”

Movies You Made is an ongoing Go Into The Story series to spotlight filmmakers and promote their storytelling. Today: ITILY, written and directed by Agnes Fernandez.

Story Description: A flirt on the morning commute between an English bus driver and his passenger prompts the driver to take his double decker to Rome, much to the delight of his returning passengers.

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ITILY is a 12-minute mini rom com, made as proof-of-concept for a feature film the filmmakers hope to shoot later this year.

Shot over one weekend and on a shoestring budget, ITILY was promoted by EU Creative Media at the Berlinale’s European Film Market.

After a premiere screening on February 13th, the filmmakers released the film online on Valentine’s Day.

Cast

Emma — Hrishitaa Bhatt
Gary — Will Kemp
Mrs. Freid — Barbara Wallis
Michael — Christopher Lee Power
Joseph — Kai Jolley
Mia — Helena Barlow
Twitter — Matthew Salter

Crew

director of photography — Pal Virag VIP
camera assistant / lights — Zoltan Kovacs
editor — Janos Geng
sound — Andrew Layfield
make up — Nicola Mann
1st unit assistant — Imola Bella Virag
2nd unit assistant — Eszter Boross
runner — Zoe Turner

Here is the movie:

I asked Agnes what it is about this particular story that inspired her to make the movie?

Fernandes: I had this story in my writing folder for a number of years and even developed it into a screenplay — a fun rom com about a bus driver taking his returning passengers all the way to Rome to follow his love. I was very fortunate to have Billy Mernit guiding me as script consultant, especially as my very first draft was over 150 pages long! (And look at ITILY now, you get the essence of the story in 12 minutes!) But what started me on the journey of actually making the movie, was my moving to the UK three years ago. I got into a program at the BFI which led me to take the 2AM bus from Liverpool to London for a workshop and then back the same day, twice a week. Those 6-hour journeys on the bus were quite long, sometimes brightened by the odd driver’s funny comments coming through the P/A.

In England, ITILY became so much more than just a lighthearted romance: for me it’s a snapshot of this incredible, diverse country. The bus driver, an English guy who dreads commitment or responsibility of any kind and simply wants to enjoy life happens to fall for a girl whose life is all about achievements. ITILY may well be the first British rom com featuring a female lead of Indian background. Underneath the romance of Emma and Gary, ITILY is a story of care and friendship among a group of people who travel on Gary’s bus. They are mostly members of an older generation, epitomes of a Britain that is long gone. One of the characters was inspired by an old lady I met who spends most of her retirement days traveling on the bus, so she doesn’t have to switch the heating on at home. These passengers in the movie go from unpleasant, hostile strangers to caring supporters of their bus driver’s endeavor to win over his chosen girlfriend. As they come out of their shells, we see hilarious characters with great depth of emotion. They long for a little sunshine and for a well deserved, but never realized holiday. All this couldn’t go into the 12-minute short of course, but hopefully it will take us one step closer to making the feature film which in turn I intend to be a declaration of my affection for this country I came to discover and love — despite the weather!

Congratulations, Agnes!

If you have a short film which may have already had a festival run, email me (GITSblog at gmail dot com) and I will consider featuring it in the Movies You Made series.

Social media: @itilymovie.

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