5Q's w/Paolo Monico "The Mother" Director

#1: Can you describe your movie and why somebody should see it in less than 140 characters

The Mother, inspired by a true story, is for those who think that films can be poignant and funny at the same time. Just like life itself.

#2: What do you want the Borrego Springs Film Festival audience to know about your film that isn’t obvious from its title?

The Mother is a love letter to my father who passed away in 2002 from an asbestos-related disease. Therefore, the backdrop of my story is the terrible legacy of asbestos and the asbestos-related diseases. People think asbestos is a thing of the past, something related to miners and sailors.  But the truth is that every American is unknowingly subjected to exposure every day. Everybody needs to acknowledge that asbestos is a toxin that the US failed to regulate for too long. It is time for Congress to resist the enormous pressures of industry and push for legislation that would stop the imports and ban asbestos once and for all.

#3: What is your movie making background?  Tell us about yourself.

I have been working on commercials and music videos for almost 20 years. I never felt the urge to bring my personal stories to life until a couple of years ago I found out that, after more than 10 years, I still hadn’t overcome my grief and anger. That’s what triggered the writing of “The Mother."

#4: What was the biggest lesson learned in getting your film made?

I found out that I wasn’t alone: you might start making movies to talk about yourself, your grief, your anger, anything that bothers you. But then you find out that this very personal and sometimes obscure, unexplainable feelings somehow connect with your fellow human beings. So, if I may pass something that I have learned in the process, I would tell to all filmmakers out there: do your thing, talk about anything that is incredibly meaningful to you and NEVER be afraid that people won’t get it.

#5: What does the future hold for your film and you?

There’s a whole community of asbestos related victims who are waiting for their "Erin Brockovich" kind of film. So this is what I’m working on right now: I’m developing a feature script based on my short “The Mother” and I’m doing this for the community of incredibly brave people that I have met throughout this amazing adventure I started 2 years ago.

Matthew NothelferComment