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In the span of a day, where everything seems to flow at the ordinary pace of provincial life, the lives of a gas station attendant with obsessive-compulsive disorder, a woman with a gambling addiction, a teenager in a youth community, and his counselor intersect and are destined to change forever. Allison is a girl placed in a youth community after reporting her father for abuse. Matteo is a counselor in the youth community where Allison lives, deciding to take her under his wing in the hope of helping her build the peaceful future she deserves. Caterina is a woman with a 10-year-old son who, while trying in every way to recover the necessary money, finds herself taking dangerous shortcuts. Vincenzo manages a gas station on the highway and is a former alcoholic, suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder. He spends his time enclosed in his booth listening to music and voice messages from his wife who passed away two years ago.
Osmosi is a film that narrates the stories of these four individuals who, within the span of a day, cross paths and touch each other's lives. Their encounter, like the collision of two chemical substances, will create a reaction from which they will all emerge transformed.
In the realms of chemistry and physics, the term "osmosis" delineates the phenomenon of diffusion between two liquids through a segregating membrane. This process, catalyzed by thermal, electrical, or concentration disparities, sees the flow from the less concentrated solution to the more concentrated one.
Yet, if we extrapolate the metaphorical connotation of osmosis to the tapestry of our daily existence, our lives and relationships become akin to diverse fluids intermingling. The demarcating membranes governing this intricate dance might be social, cultural, economic, or religious. The catalysts for this osmotic exchange are the tapestry of our lives, personal experiences, the contextual stage we occupy, and oftentimes, mere serendipity.The dynamic of osmosis has perpetually fascinated me, particularly the relational osmosis that unfolds between individuals. Like diverse fluids blending in a mixture, they influence and meld with one another, taking the form of the container that holds them. Occasionally, this occurs consciously, but more often than not, it happens unwittingly.
This film is born out of a profound urge to articulate this process — to narrate the lives (or fluidity) of four individuals cohabiting within the same context (or container), influencing each other to the point of radical metamorphosis. Crossing personal barriers, these individuals find themselves amalgamated and transformed, yet still within the same context or container, albeit with an entirely different essence. I envisage these four narratives as distinct fluids charting their independent courses until they converge. At that juncture, they decide to blend, steering towards an alternative trajectory collectively. This is the narrative approach I aspire to employ — a harmonious fusion of cinematographic intensities and nuances. It involves respecting the pacing and rhythm of each character, as well as the visual and relational dynamics that emerge organically between the narratives. A cinematic osmosis running parallel to the relational osmosis experienced by the characters.
The chosen setting will serve to contextualize the four narratives effectively, creating an environment that is almost antagonistic and claustrophobic. Exits appear elusive — be it the confined booth of the gas station attendant, the identical and narrow aisles of the supermarket, the bar room bathed solely in the glow of video poker machines, or the courtyards, streets, suburban edifices, and the youth community. Merging locations and set design seamlessly with cinematography will lend the characters authenticity, making their backstories explicit without the need for overt exposition.
Music holds a pivotal role in my cinematic philosophy, being a musician for nearly three decades. In this film, music assumes a substantial role, drawing from my background in the '90s, spanning from noise-rock to experimental folk. Through a process of musical osmosis, diegetic music — songs often directly chosen by the characters — blends seamlessly with extradiegetic music that consistently accompanies their stories. The aim is to create a sense that the music has always been a choice made by the characters themselves.
Osmosis encapsulates four stories that resonate closely with me, where fiction and the characters, while imagined, remain rooted in the realities I have lived. Infused with autobiographical elements from my tenure as an educator working extensively with adolescents in a youth community, the narrative aims to depict a contemporary, unfiltered, and realistic provincial tale. Characters, seemingly destined to yield to the onslaught of events, discover a foothold and, through osmosis, attain a new form, direction, and hope.
Lara Calligaro (Responsabile sviluppo)