Tommaso: Abel Ferrara’s Roman years

Picture of the movie Tommaso © DR

In his new feature film Tommaso, New York filmmaker and screenwriter Abel Ferrara 

portrays, documentary style, the daily life of Tommaso, an American director settled in Rome with his European wife Nikki and their three-year-old daughter Dee Dee. The film is being shown at a Special Screening.

Exploring the world in which Tommaso developed, fringe director Abel Ferrara, best known from the 90s onwards for his cult films King of New York (1990) and Bad Lieutenant (Un Certain Regard, 1992) and for creating violent, hellish worlds, paints a portrait of a dreamer and of his doubts and questions. Filmed in Ferrara's apartment in Rome, this drama displays many similarities with the filmmaker's life: he settled in the city several years ago.

Tommaso is played by the four-times Oscar nominated actor Willem Dafoe, (Antichrist by Lars Von Trier, in Competition in 2009 and also Manderlay, in Competition in 2005). Ferrara chose his partner, Cristina Chiriac, to play Nikki and their daughter, Anna to play Dee Dee. This marks a new collaboration between Dafoe and the director, who have worked together several times, notably on the biographical film Pasolini (2014).

According to its American director, "the film vacillates between what is real and what isn't". In Tommaso, the leading character is working on a project which is almost identical to Abel Ferrara's next film, Siberia.  However the filmmaker will only admit indirectly to any similarities: "What does it matter if the origins of a story are true or false? What counts is the truth within the film."