An Interview With Federica Alice Carlino:A Master Storyteller

Hello Federica! Welcome! Could you tell us a bit about yourself? Give us a brief introduction!

I was born in Milan, Italy. I have shown love and passion for movies since the age of 3. My family moved around Europe for work, so I had the opportunity to experience new cultures. I grew up in the Netherlands until I was 6, then moved back to Italy for most of my education, I also studied in London at Richmond Upon Thames College. There I studied filmmaking, photography, and makeup in Milan and makeup prosthetics in Rome with Dario Argento’s makeup artist, Sergio Stivaletti. I am a New York Film Academy BFA graduate. I have experience in directing, casting, writing, and acting.

Where are you located?

Los Angeles, from Italy

bus on road near building at daytime

What is a quote that summarizes everything you’re about as a filmmaker?

“Good directing is good writing and good casting”

-Robert Zemeckis


And I agree that’s why I also like the casting process so much. I love seeing characters becoming real people, that’s when you finally realize “It’s happening”

What inspired you to start creating films?

I was 3 and `I was watching Jurassic Park with my parents, I asked how was it even possible to film dinosaurs since my dad taught me that they didn’t exist anymore. The next day they found behind-the-scenes so they could show me how they made it happen. That’s when I decided that I wanted to be part of the industry. They thought it was just a phase, but here I am at 30 years old, I still have a lot of work to achieve it, but I am making my own shorts and it makes me feel good.

Who most inspires/influences you currently and why?

Definitely Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, and Giuseppe Tornatore. Steven Spielberg because he made my childhood, as I previously said, I developed a strong feeling for making movies thanks to Jurassic Park. He made me believe that if I want it I can make it happen. Robert Zemeckis, was also a great chapter of my childhood and has a totally different approach to movies, Death Becomes her, Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Forrest Gump, Cast Away, are all movies that can show how versatile he can be and he taught me that you don’t have to stick with one genre. Giuseppe Tornatore is my favorite Italian director and I’m proud of him as a creator, Cinema Paradiso speaks to movie loves and movie makers. We all started somehow, we all have mentors and they shape us into the adults we get to become.

What is your favorite film of all time?

In addition to the one, I already listed, Moulin Rouge.

As a creator, what do you find to be the thing that most drives you?

I want the audience to feel less lonely, especially in these times, I want my content to be relatable to the viewer but also to amaze them at the same time and turn off everyday problems for a moment.

What is your absolute dream in life?

I have a couple of dreams, for sure pursue my directing path but hand-in-hand with my casting director path, I would also love to have my own studio one day.

What’s your most recent project?

The Monster’s Club

What is your role(s) in the film?

Director and Writer.

Who is the director & who is the writer?

Just me, Federica Alice Carlino.

What is the film’s genre?

Drama/Mystery but also coming of age.

What is your film’s logline?

In 1999, three teenage friends decide to organize a prank to be on TV, but things turn deadly. 20 years later the past comes back to haunt who’s left.

What inspired you in how you went about this project?

It was a personal experience when a friend got injured during a prank to a neighbor, and I thought “What if we weren’t lucky?”. Teenagers tend to act to impress, we still do that as adults, so I thought about The Monster’s Club, a way to send my message, to think twice, and to care more about your close ones. It was also inspired by some of my favorite classics such as Stand By Me, The Goonies, E.T, and especially for production design, Stranger Things.

man in black t-shirt and black pants holding black dslr camera

What was the most difficult part of the process of working on this film? How did you overcome it?

I took care of my casting process and it was fun and hard at the same time, the hardest part of it was finding the adult version of the main characters. When I have these challenges, I truly care about details, their noses, the shape of their lips, their behaviors, so that was a great achievement. Another thing can be working in LA, learning all the production process through my producer Ines De Los Santos and The New York Film Academy, where I graduated.

What was the most fun portion of this entire production?

Interacting with these young talents, the fact that they totally understood what I wanted to portray in this short and I felt like they truly connected with their characters. I wanted them to feel like longtime friends and we had different sessions of rehearsals, chemistry, and fun chats to know each other better. Also, I had cast Hechan Dasilva and Germano Blanco on purpose, they are both Brazilian. Their characters, Colin and Jackson, have a deeper connection than the one with Dumpster, played by Max Vector, so they spent more time together and they connected on their roots. I had three young talented actors and I couldn’t ask for more.

What is the single greatest lesson you learned along with the creation of this particular project?

I had more time for pre-production, I spent each second I had to make it look as real as possible. I took my time to go through my old photo albums and pay attention to every single hairstyle, shirt, the greatest hits of that time, I gave my actors a playlist to get in the spirit of the ’90s. Time is a director’s worst enemy, but I could learn how to use it properly, Is till have to schedule it better, but I hope to be on the right path.

We’re so glad to have you involved in The Film Festival Network. Do you have anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?

I’m now working with an Italian crew on a tribute about Money Heist and it’s coming up in January, I have so many original scripts that I’m trying to make happen in 2022 so I hope you stay tuned to see them it becoming reality. Thank you for having me.

Thank you so much for being a part of The Film Festival Network Community, Federica!

We can’t wait to see what you do next.

Keep up with Federica and all her incredible work to come!