Italian born Francesca Gregorini, director of “Emanuel and The Truth About Fishes,” developed her love for filmmaking while studying Theater and Semiotics at Brown. After selling pilots to HBO and Paramount she co-wrote and co-directed Toronto 2009 entry “Tanner Hall,” starring a then unknown Rooney Mara. Her latest, if well received in Park City, could make a star out of another unknown, Kaya Scodelario, who plays the titular character in the drama making its world premiere at the festival. The film also stars Jessica Biel and Alfred Molina.
What It’s About: “A troubled girl (Emanuel) becomes preoccupied with her mysterious new neighbor (Linda) who bears a striking resemblance to her dead mother. In offering to baby-sit Linda’s newborn, Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which she becomes the gatekeeper.”
What It’s REALLY About: “At its core ‘Emanuel…’ is about salvation and redemption. Unable or unwilling to save ourselves, we rise to the challenge to save another and in so doing ultimately save ourselves. It is a tale that unfolds and unravels in secrets: the secrets we keep from each other and the secrets we keep from ourselves, often the most dangerous variety, creating blind-spots that will at best keep us from moving forward, at worst derail us completely. In many ways this film walks the line between seduction and fear, hope and despair; a haunting dance between the two main characters, Linda and Emanuel, neither one of them knowing how to lead, but each accepting the other’s invitation to dance.”
“I think beneath the psychological drama, the dark humor, the jaunts into the surreal, is the very human message of hope. That we are not alone. That no matter how far out there we go, chances are that there is another that can see us and is willing to travel the distance and rough terrain to get to us, because ultimately they will find themselves along the way. My hope is that the audiences are both entertained and moved and feel like they have gone on a journey that resonates with them.”
My Loves and Inspirations: “I loved ‘Heavenly Creatures,’ ‘The Ice Storm,” and am a big fan of Polanski and the two Andersons, PT and Wes. But I don’t feel like any of their films specifically inspired ‘Emanuel.’ My inspiration comes from my own life experiences.”
Up Next For Me: “I am hard at work on my next feature script and a TV pilot.”
Indiewire invited Sundance Film Festival directors to tell us about their films, including what inspired them, the challenges they faced and what they’re doing next. We’ll be publishing their responses leading up to the 2013 festival.
Keep checking HERE every day up to the launch of the festival on January 17 for the latest profiles.