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An Interview with Alfredo Covelli, Producer of Too Rough

by Mike Haberfelner

December 2022

Films produced by Alfredo Covelli on (re)Search my Trash

 

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Alfredo with director Sean Lìonadh

Your new film Too Rough - in a few words, what is it about?

 

Too Rough is an autobiographical film about facing the phantoms of his past with honesty, and never judging his family (his source of love and suffering). The director Sean Lìonadh [Sean Lìonadh interview - click here] created a little masterpiece with this premise.

 

How did you become involved with the project in the first place, and what convinced you to produce the film?

 

I met the director Sean Lìonadh when he was 20 (now he’s 24) when he was selected in a screenwriting development program where I worked as script consultant. I could spot a special flame in him. When I opened my production company in Glasgow, I told Sean that I would like to produce his films. I’ve always had this dream of opening a company in the UK and producing the new Derek Jarman. Who knows.

 

What were the challenges of bringing Too Rough to the screen from a producer's point of view?

 

The working class was the problem. The first time I submitted Too Rough for public funding, it was rejected and targeted as “clichéed”, and this is a word that decision-makers often use to reject films about the working class and working-class issues like alcoholism, violence and poverty. Fortunately, the next year, new executives were ruling the fund (Shortcircuit) and we could submit again that same script, and we could explain clearly that all those elements belonged to the memories of the director: they were original and not clichéed. This problem belongs to the industry and to so many countries, not just to a single executive or the UK. I’ve learned to believe the working class is feared more than any other minority. For this reason, so many authors coming from the working class willing to express their experience are ignored, and so many diamonds are lost.

 

What can you tell us about Too Rough's director Sean Lìonadh [Sean Lìonadh interview - click here], and what was your collaboration like?

 

Sean Lìonadh is an incredible and multi-talented young artist with a strong imagination. He must be trusted and respected. And this is what I’ve been doing, from the very beginning.

 

Do talk about Too Rough's cast, and to what extent were you involved in the casting process?

 

The cast is extraordinary. This is actually the best cast I’ve ever had. Thanks to the incredible casting directors Simone Pereira Hind and Anne Dawson. Ruaridh Mollica, Joshua Griffin, Kevin O’Loughlin, Neshla Caplan and Jane McCarry are incredible performers and create such a realistic and unique ensemble. The one who really made me proud is Oliver Wright, who has autism and expressed great acting skills and offered an incredible performance.

 

A few words about the shoot as such, and the on-set atmosphere?

 

I couldn’t be on set since Too Rough was shot during the most severe lockdown in Scotland. I was stuck in Rome, remotely producing from there. My partner producer Ross McKenzie has done an amazing job. It was not producing; it was something absolutely more extreme.

 

The $64-question, where can Too Rough be seen?

 

Too Rough could be seen on Canal Plus, the main French broadcaster. It will be distributed in Germany by the Catholic Cinema Association, for educational purposes and without any commercial exploitation. And it will soon be available on some streaming services.

 

Any future projects you'd like to share?

 

Sean Lìonadh’s first feature. The screenplay is incredible. We’d like to move to production as soon as possible.

 

What got you into the filmworld in the first place, and did you receive any formal training on the subject?

 

I didn’t receive any formal training, I started working as a second assistant-director in my teen years, and I’m self-taught on screenwriting and production. But now I’m teaching screenwriting in the Italian National Film School, and so I’m finally doing formal training.

 

What can you tell us about your filmwork prior to Too Rough?

 

I started producing 11 years ago. My first production in Italy was a documentary about a transgender’s unconventional family. I jumped in the film after it had already been rejected by all Italian public funds. Berlusconi’s right-wing government was still in charge. I’ve produced that documentary in a totally independent way and it became the most successful LGBTQ documentary in Italy in those years, also making a nice box office. Knowing that story, other LGBTQ directors (and non) trusted me, and so I carried on producing short films, documentaries and features.

 

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USA  amazon.com

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Germany (East AND West)  amazon.de

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How would you describe yourself as a producer?

 

Determined, respectful and magical.

 

Producers, filmmakers, whoever else who inspire you?

 

Walt Whitman and Francois Villon.

 

Your favourite movies?

 

Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy and John Waters’ Desperate Living.

 

... and of course, films you really deplore?

 

None.

 

Your/your movie's website, social media, whatever else?

 

@covelli.alfredo @schemepictures

 

Thanks for the interview!

 

© by Mike Haberfelner


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Thanks for watching !!!



 

 

Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD