Wild Filmmaker will attend the upcoming Berlin Festival with the film ‘The Family Whistle,’ produced by Francis Ford Coppola’s American Zoetrope (EXCLUSIVE)

By Michele Diomà

“Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather,” “Rumble Fish,” and the highly anticipated film of 2024, “Megalopolis,” are just a few of the titles that have made Francis Ford Coppola one of the most beloved directors of all time.

While his cinema is admired worldwide, few know the origins of the Oscar-winning founder of American Zoetrope, the company that produced “The Family Whistle.”

With this documentary/confession of exceptional historical value, everyone can now discover the cultural references that inspired Francis Ford Coppola and allowed him to create his masterpieces.

“The Family Whistle” takes viewers on a journey into memory with unpublished testimonies from Francis Ford Coppola himself, his daughter, the director Sofia, the highly successful actress Talia Shire, sister of the director of “The Godfather,” his nephew Christopher Coppola, and other personalities who have played central roles in the life and formation of the great director.

Why is “The Family Whistle” a necessary project to see for anyone who loves great cinema?

Throughout history, from the times of Georges Méliès, the artists who have written fundamental pages in cinema history were those who dared to experiment and had the ambition to create an original style.

This innate trait has always belonged to Francis Ford Coppola, who, multiple times in his career, risked bankruptcy to create films without betraying his inspiration.

Ideas that have generated myths of pop culture, such as the characters portrayed by Marlon Brando and Al Pacino in “The Godfather,” actors whom Coppola found difficult to cast in 1972, given the production’s reluctance to have them in those roles.

Thanks to the rare nature of the director as a fighter, today, at 84, Francis Ford Coppola, personally investing around $120 million, is ready to return to the forefront of contemporary cinema with “Megalopolis.”

Only by watching “The Family Whistle” can we understand which man Francis Ford Coppola was inspired by to always risk everything to achieve his cinematic ventures.

Without the example of Agostino Coppola, an immigrant from southern Italy in the early 1900s, we would not have the masterpieces signed by Francis.

Who was Agostino Coppola?

Agostino’s story begins like many others, a man searching for a better life who emigrates to the United States, the land of opportunities.Creative, courageous, and with a strong desire for redemption, Agostino Coppola, despite coming from a disadvantaged economic condition and speaking English poorly, managed to integrate into American society and give rise to a true dynasty of artists. This dynasty includes the Oscar-winning composer Carmine Coppola, Francis’ father, the Oscar-winning actor Nicolas Cage, the professor August Coppola, the radio speaker Marc Coppola, the producer Roman Coppola, the director Gia Coppola, as well as the already mentioned Talia Shire, Sofia Coppola, Christopher Coppola, all protagonists of the international cinematic scene.

The story of Agostino Coppola bears many similarities to the fable of The Little Prince, the literary masterpiece by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The dream of flying higher and higher is common to both stories, teaching us how important it is to always have the courage to be honest with oneself before being honest with others.

You cannot lie to yourself if you want to create a great work of art. As the Little Prince says, “The essential is invisible to the eyes.

Every true artist tries to tell “that essential,” their soul, which the camera has the magical power to capture.

How did “The Family Whistle” come to life?

“The Family Whistle” is directed by Michele Salfi Russo, an Italian filmmaker and actor who discovered at a very young age that he was related to Francis Ford Coppola.Michele spent several years trying to get in touch with the great American director, a feat he achieved after various difficulties.

A great friendship was born first, followed by an artistic collaboration, which allowed Michele Salfi Russo to become part of the prestigious cast of “The Godfather Part III.” A partnership that years later gave birth to “The Family Whistle,” a documentary that begins in the small town of Bernalda, from which Agostino Coppola left in the early 1900s and culminates in Hollywood.

Selected at the Cannes Film Festival, in the history of cinema documentaries section, “The Family Whistle” continues to win awards worldwide, like the very recent 8 & Halfilm Award, awarded in January 2024, a prize dedicated to the Indie scene whose name is inspired by the masterpiece directed by Federico Fellini.

“If you love great cinema, watching “The Family Whistle” will make you feel like part of that Family.”

The first series produced by WILD FILMMAKER is born and you can be part of it! (EXCLUSIVE)

First it was a dream, then a project, and now it is ‘eleveN fiftY’.

Click here to watch the trailer: https://www.instagram.com/reel/CtGHJBmqqxB/?igshid=MTc4MmM1YmI2Ng==

That is the title of the first series produced by WILD FILMMAKER, which in less than a year became the biggest independent filmmaker and screenwriter community worldwide. You gave us so much and our way of thanking you is to make you even more protagonists!

eleveN fiftY’ will be a series open to your collaborations and suggestions. We will not tell you: “Here’s the series, watch it! Stop!” as many platforms usually do. You will not only be spectators, but our mission will be to make the series by listening to your suggestions and accepting your candidacies for the various roles.

eleveN fiftY’ will be set in New York.

We chose the Big Apple because we love its dimension, which still is the greatest cultural cocktail between archaic and modern. Chapter zero of the series is in the making.

Produced by Michele Diomà

and directed by Darius Rubin

selected thanks to “The Fool” among thousands of nominees, directed with Yoshima Yamamoto and winner at several festivals, including the 8 & Halfilm Awards.

More news soon.

For now, we can only tell you that this series will be a breakthrough project in cinema history, as its strength will be the ‘we’ instead of the ‘I’.

Our motto is “WILD FILMMAKER – Cinema not Propaganda. Poetry not Marketing“.

Long live the free cinema.

The WILD FILMMAKER ACADEMY is born. Christopher Coppola will hold the first Master Class on “Rumble Fish” directed by his uncle, the legendary Francis Ford Coppola (EXCLUSIVE)

After the great success of the co-production meetings held during the Cannes Film Festival by WILD FILMMAKER in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards, we are honored to announce a project that will surely make all those who love the art of cinema happy.

The Wild Filmmaker Academy is the first international institution dedicated to those who wrote cinema history by breaking the production and aesthetic rules.

Our workshops will be dedicated to the artists that fought against everything and everyone, listening to their own Wild souls and not to the rules imposed by the market.

Each workshop will consist of 3 intensive lessons.

Inspired by Dante Alighieri, in the 3 lessons, we will delve into the ‘Hell, Purgatory and Paradise‘ that those artists faced and let cinema advance as an art form.

Our first workshop will be dedicated to an experimental and poetic masterpiece. The main character is a boy with a sensitive, wild-looking soul named Rusty James.

Based on the novel by Susan Eloise Hinton, “Rumble Fish” by Francis Ford Coppola is one of the movies to see if you want to understand what a truly independent film is, a Wild film compared to the rules of marketing often imposed on those who make cinema.

Director and Professor Christopher Coppola will lead the lessons.


He is very close to “Rumble Fish” also because the movie is dedicated  to his father, Professor August Coppola, brother of the director Francis Ford Coppola and father of Nicolas Cage, who was part of the movie cast.

At the end of the workshop, you will receive a certificate signed by the course teacher Christopher Coppola and the founder of the WILD FILMMAKER ACADEMY Michele Diomà.

If you’d like to get on board our Noah’s Ark because you feel like a wild animal among so many animals, contact us at info@8andhalfilmawards.com

“The Wild Filmmaker production meeting in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards in Cannes.” (EXCLUSIVE)

The Wild Filmmaker production meeting in collaboration with the 8 & Halfilm Awards will occur in Cannes from the 16th of May till the 20th. With over 3000 registered projects from more than 40 countries, it promises to be one of the most significant events of the year dedicated to the independent cinema on a global scale

Among the projects selected by the 8 & Halfilm Awards: “Forty Winks” directed by William Atticus Parker with actress Academy Award-Winner Susan Sarandon and John Turturro;

Among other made-in-USA projects also: “Old Time Radio: Your Move” directed by the Academy Award-Winner Joel Harlow, make-up Artist for “Star Trek” and “Alice in Wonderland”;

“The Walk” directed by Daniel Adams, in the cast: Malcolm McDowell, the legendary protagonist of “A Clockwork Orange” directed by Stanley Kubrick;

 “She Dreamt Alone” directed by Nina McNeely, also choreographer (projects with Björk, Gaspar Noé, The Weeknd, Rihanna, Foo Fighters, Sam Smith, Alicia Keys…);

“Numb” directed by Ivan Mbakop, who starred in Netflix’s “Red Notice” and played Detective Caudle in Marvel’s “Hawkeye” mini-series;

Among the projects Made in the UK: “I wish for you’ with Academy Award-Winner Jeremy Irons, directed by Stuart Rideout;

and “Connie Lynn” directed by Lee Westwick, an experimental movie written by Elon Musk’s Artificial Intelligence. 

Among the Europeans, we remember “King Max” directed by French director Adèle Vincenti-Carson.

For the East, we remember: “Vertigo” directed by the Japanese Haruo Inoue with special guest Jonas Mekas.

Wild Filmmaker is a Community detached from all the others existing film realities, and the film product’s free dissemination on the web is its own strength. In addition, the Wild Filmmaker series is currently in the works. “eleveN fiftY” is set in New York, directed by Darius Rubin

and produced by Michele Diomà.

The Wild Filmmaker project was born from the need to make cinema a free art form and aims to allow the Filmmakers to be the actual Deus ex Machina of a project.

8 & Halfilm Awards – Great success in Berlin and a new extraordinary Event at the Cannes Film Festival in May (EXCLUSIVE)

by Michele Diomà

Over the past two years, more than 20,000 artists have chosen to participate in the 8 & Halfilm Awards. Two thousand eight hundred sixty projects registered from all over the world.

Four hundred forty-three positive reviews on the official Filmfreeway website in the last two years. It is the only Festival to organize events in several cities: Rome, Dubai, Berlin, and next: the 8 & Halfilm Awards will have an extraordinary event in France during the prestigious Cannes Film Festival.

Yes, the 8 & Halfilm Awards will bring their Community to the Croisette in May!

A legendary place where Federico Fellini has been the protagonist several times over the years, to whom we dedicate the 8 & Halfilm Awards! “https://filmfreeway.com/8andhalfilmawards”

These are record-breaking results for a festival dedicated to those who consider cinema a free art!

Thanks to all of you! Your creativity is a gift from nature, like the tree from which beautiful apples are born. We are all against wars and social injustices, but unfortunately, the world still makes the same mistakes today in 2023.

Only Poetry and Art will save us.

“The body can say much more than word.” (EXCLUSIVE) Interview with Urszula Nawrot

-Who is Urszula Nawrot?

I am a director, photographer and cinematographer. For 15 years I was engaged in dancing, I achieved an international master class in ballroom dancing. To this day, dance is present in my films and even in photography. I am looking for rhythm, harmony and movement in a cinema. Film editing must flow like a dance too. Movement is extremely important to me. In film scenes, I pay a lot of attention to the body language and choreography. The body can say much more than words.

I always wanted to paint, but life turned out differently. I graduated with a Master’s degree in International Relations. Back then, I wanted to get so-called normal job. However, art won. After graduating from film school, I became an actress first, while developing my sensitivity as a photographer and director. I do not regret that my path to filmmaking was not easy, because I once heard that a director should first know something about life, get to know it from different perspectives. The technical skills can be learned later, and the best way to do it is to learn from a film master. So I did.

I was taught directing by Jack Gold, a British film director, and Andrzej Bartkowiak ( cinematographer Speed, The Devil’s Advocate) gave me cinematography advice. I couldn’t get better masters. Although I often do the work of a cinematographer, I do not consider myself a real cinematographer. I’m a director who can do cinematography. However, in the very act of creation, I value freedom. That is why I wanted to pursue film education in all departments. So it doesn’t matter to me if I have a big budget or not. If I want to shoot something, I just go and do it. As it was with Wing Tsun Flashback, where I had an idea, but no money. I found the right location, observe the light on the location to see what I can get from the natural lightening, made some tests, than filmed it with an iPhone ProRes 4k, edited and did the post production of the film by myself. Honestly, I just wanted to see, where can I go with that? It turned out great.

-What inspired you to become a filmmaker?

I was born in Poland, where film has a long tradition. I grew up on films such as “The Saragossa Manuscript” by Wojciech Jerzy Has (one of Martin Scorsese’s favorite films), films by Kieślowski, Majewski… I have always been fascinated by the image and what it can convey in emotions expressed beyond words. A word can create an image, an image will not create a word, but it will build a symbol, unsaid, constantly alive, constantly bringing new meanings. Precisely because in Poland, filmmakers often moved on the plane of dreams, symbols and unconsciousness, which inspired me to create my own films. For me, cinema is art, created by people like Bergman, Pasolini. I have always been interested in the inner world, Jungian psychology.

In high school, I became familiar with Jerzy Grotowski’s theatre and Grotowski Institute. For me, what was inside was more important than what was visible on the outside. In this spirit, “Umbra” was created, telling the story of the inner world of trauma and a woman who was sexually abused in childhood.

Wing Tsun Flashback is about touching the past by practicing old forms of martial arts. This image is not realistic. It is definitely some kind of movie dream. It is a teaser of something that I may create in a more complete form in the future. I think what’s inside us, our dreams says a lot more about us than what we see on the outside. Like this we can touch somebody’s soul.

-Do you think the cinema can bring a change in the society?

I strongly believe that cinema can bring a change in the society. However, it is not the cinema that is based on scandal, fuels fears or gives people cheap entertainment or propaganda, tells the audience what to think, how to judge others. I am interested in cinema that asks questions, encourages the viewer to search internally, does not show easy solutions, but different perspectives, looking for the truth. Cinema has an extraordinary impact, it shapes our sensitivity and imagination. What we see when we are young builds us up as adults. I am very happy that I grew up on Kieślowski and Has. As a member of the Polish Filmmakers Association, I feel obliged to continue their ambitious vision of cinema in this commercialized world.

-What would you change in the world?

I believe that the biggest problem is the effects of traumatic experiences that we carry inside. Trauma is not what happens to you, is what happens inside of you as a result of what happened to you in the past . And even we can carry fears of our parents and grandparents as well. As a result of trauma, people lose contact with themselves, lose their self-esteem, which they then look for outside, they lose the natural, internal compass that allows them to distinguish good from evil. If someone experienced harm, evil in childhood and it was ignored by the environment, then as an adult often repeats these pathological behaviors without even knowing that is hurting someone. If I could change anything, it would be to free people from the devastating consequences of trauma. And that’s what I try to do in my photographic and film work. Umbra is the first such film and has been recognized by outstanding specialists in the field of psychiatry and psychotherapy both in Poland and abroad. I am currently working on a new feature-length film with a similar theme. I would like people to stop looking outside for confirmation of their own worth, stop comparing and chasing each other. I wish the media wouldn’t promote a culture of achievement and a celebrity lifestyle. Well, that’s a pretty utopian dream.

-Where do you see the film industry going in the next 100 years?

It is difficult to assess today, because we are usually convinced that the world is moving forward, while it can take a step back even in issues that would seem as obvious today as personal freedom and democracy, which we are convinced by subsequent events on the world’s political scene. Cinema is a means of expression that can tell trivial things or even lie, but it can also be used to create art and show the truth. I hope that the cinema will look for the truth, which is difficult in the case of high-budget projects, because there is some business at stake, a question of risk, sales, earnings, etc… I have the impression that the art of film has been raped by commercialism. The origins of the film were in art circles. Then the value of cinema was recognized and the film slowly moved towards entertainment. Making the film was too expensive and too complicated, making it inaccessible to many artists. However, today technologies have developed a lot and a pretty good picture can be created even with a mobile phone, and the so-called non budget projects can get quite decent quality. For this, it is enough to have a YouTube channel and you can promote your work. I think these tools will continue to be refined, and filmmaking will become much more affordable, which will give artists more creative freedom, because no one behind the desk will decide whether something will be made or not. This should result in a variety of film forms, genres, which is already happening. We will no longer stick rigidly to the so-called movie formats. This should resemble the revolution in painting at the turn of the 20th century. Young people today are increasingly watching short videos on YouTube. Recently, I became interested in the work of AI myself. Today I can generate a photo based on entering the appropriate parameters. I think that in a future, I will be able to make a film like this as well. So this freedom of expression should be the future of film, but if we find ourselves in a system where this freedom is limited, even a technological revolution will not help here.