An interview with GIUSEPPE ARCIERI, director of “Once Upon A Time There Was The Covid”

Giuseppe Arcieri


“Cinema is the perfect tool to tell our stories, our dreams, our ghosts, our uncertainties, our emotions and transmit them to the whole world.”



Giuseppe Arcieri was born in Foggia on 27/09/1997, residing in Barletta,
passionate about photography and cinema, he studies “photo cinema and tv” at the Academy of Fine Arts
in Foggia.
Lover of Italian cinema, in particular neorealist cinema and all philmography of Sergio Leone.
During the three-year period he made various short films for different exams.
His greatest passion is to work in the world of cinema and to be able to tell stories that excite the public.




Your film, with a strong emotional impact, is a stylistically raw film, essential in cinematographic choices yet extremely fascinating and moving. The strong connection with reality and contemporaneity is certainly the fundamental aspect of this short. How did the idea for this film come about? When did the spark of inspiration explode?


The idea was born during the lockdown. My directing teacher at the university allocated us the realization of a short film about the current situation. The inspiration popped into my mind when I looked to the sea from my balcony at home. Despite the distance I could feel it all, like I was into his scent, his sound and into everything it could be referred to it. The usual video calls with my friend, as well as my co-screenwriter,Michele Piazzolla, have been the key point for the birth of the film’s plot. The hardest part for us has been the wait to see us again in order to realize it.



The choice to eliminate any dialogue is certainly a courageous choice but with a great cinematic effect: one gets the impression that words are superfluous and that basically, the life of this elderly person is condensed into a few simple gestures, from which all the humanity and complexity. To achieve this, you certainly had to share Antonio’s intimacy for a while. From a personal and human point of view, how was this experience for you? What did he leave you?


From our personal point of view, it surprised us his capability of expressing a lot without talking, thanks to his being spontaneously expressive. For this reason, Michele Piazzolla (co screenwriter) and I, have decided to leave out the dialogues, exploiting Antonio’s potential. We really thank Antonio for having teached us how to face the life’s unusual and negative period, such as this one, with lucidity patience and hope.





The quarantine experience brought the whole world to confront a new reality, and so it was also for the production sector of art. As an artist, do you think the lockdown has affected your way of making films? The limitations, the free time to think … What do you think is left inside you?


The virus slowed down time but not our determination and the strength to overcome everything. This period stopped us only from a physical perspective while our mind continued to create for the future. We learned how to live better with our families, the forgotten spaces and to appreciate the simplest gesture until to the return of our routine.




You are a very young director, but your filmography already suggests excellent potential and a certain experience. What will your next projects be?

I thank you all for the praises. There are a lot of projects we’re working on, such as an historical one that is still being written. I hope to be able to realize all of what will come, with determination and love, things that I’ve always had. Thank you for the possibility of being interviewed.