Italian by birth, Edoardo Di Silvestri is a young and talented producer who, after working in Italy with some of the best Italian directors and producers of movies such as “Ricomincio da tre”, “Non ci resta che piangere” and “Il piccolo diavolo”, decided to take an even bigger gamble and moved to Los Angeles three years ago.
“I consider my Italian career beside Mauro Berardi and Gianfranco Piccioli very successful, especially because I was lucky to work on amazing films and with two great producers and amazing human beings”, declared Edoardo. “But I’ve always wanted to achieve more and I could not resist the challenge coming from the United States. I knew it was to going to be difficult but I’ve never had a problem rolling up my sleeves and getting things done. So one day, I packed my stuff, rented my apartment in Rome and left”.
Once in Los Angeles, Edoardo didn’t relish looking back as he started a new chapter in his career. Relentlessly, he picked up the phone and began reaching out to some of his connections in the entertainment industry. Among those he called was producer Betty Mayr, and director/producer Max Bartoli. They both had their own projects in the pipeline and they welcomed the idea of being able to collaborate with Edoardo, using his experience and expertise.
“What I liked since the beginning of Betty and Max was their positive attitude and how aggressive they were about the material they wanted to produce”, added Di Silvestri. “Like me they were not after popcorn flicks – which is very difficult to produce being independent by the way – but mostly products with a social weight and impact, about relevant topics”.
Edoardo’s passion for social themes was not new. In Italy he had already worked on socially inspired projects. The most important one was “Human Rights for All”, a collective piece produced to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the “declaration of human rights”… with the involvement of masters of the Italian cinema such as Mario Monicelli, Carlo Lizzani (Academy Award Nominee), Giobbe Coatta, Giovanni Veronesi among many others.
After producing a few short films such as “The White Rabbit” and “Blurred”, Di Silvestri decided to test the waters in the United States, and joined the production teams of “Wish to Live” and of “The Secret of Joy“. “Wish to Live” is a documentary, the extraordinary story of a 38-year-old Jewish kid from Israel who is affected by a rare blood virus and has been fighting for his life since he was 4 years old. After over 200 surgeries, 31 years of dialysis, and two kidneys transplants – with less than 10 percent chance of survival – he keeps fighting to have a normal life. Today, the science has found a cure to his disease but his body still feels too weak to tolerate another surgery. The documentary follows his race against time to survive.
“The Secret of Joy” tells the story of 11-year-old Joy, who dreams of being a fairy in King Arthur’s land. A land populated by elegant ladies, valiant knights, elves and monsters to defeat. Joy’s adventure in Camelot, through the evil enchanted wood and her fight against Morgan Le Fay gets abruptly interrupted when she wakes up in her ICU room surrounded by her parents and grandparents. It is then that we realize Joy is battling cancer.
Produced with a mostly donated budget of over $500k to raise the awareness and funds for Frank Kalman’s Kids Cancer Research Foundation, “The Secret of Joy” – with a cast led by Doris Roberts and Maria Conchita Alonso – was screened for a week at the Laemmle 7 theater in North Hollywood. All of the box office revenue was donated to the Kids Cancer Research Foundation.
When “The Secret of Joy” writers/producers Max and Fabiola Bartoli mentioned it to Di Silvestri, he immediately asked to be part of it. “Since the beginning ‘The Secret of Joy’ was a project I could not say no to”, declared Di Silvestri in an interview to the Italian media. “Not only because of the incredible cast and crew, but also and especially for the cause it was made for meant. Max and Fabiola had the script and they were committed to make it. I had to be part of it. They accepted and we began working. Relentlessly. We had two children battling cancer on set and more attended the NoHO screenings. Their smiles and their reactions were and remain the best reward for our productive efforts. Experiences like this one are a constant reminder of why I love my job”.
With these two projects under his belt, Edoardo is now looking at a roster of new projects – a feature with a screenplay penned by Academy Award nominee Barry A. Brawn, a fantasy-based television series inspired by “The Secret of Joy”, and a Mexican drama based on a true story. Edoardo Di Silvestri is certainly an extremely talented filmmaker to keep an eye on, and in an industry too often hardened by fluffy news, he will likely leave his mark with successes on upcoming projects.