Director Biography – Paola Bernardini, Wayland Bell (SOLITAIRE)

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Paola is an Italian Director and Producer based in New York. She holds a BFA in Film from the School of Visual Arts. During her stay in New York she obtained experience in film, commercial and theater productions.

Paola was awarded numerous awards including one from the New York Women in Film and Television, screened at over 20 film festivals and received an international distribution deal for her Italian short film “Citta’ dei Sogni” (City of Dreams)

She is fluent in Italian, French and English and will continue her filmmaking journey around the world.

Director Statement

To make a film it takes a team, this film had a team of two. The reason Solitaire was created by only two people was our craving to tell a story in a way that would challenge us as filmmakers.

This is the first time anyone has shot a film at the Italian Embassy in Brazil. The opportunity was too good to pass up, so Wayland Bell and myself packed our bags and went to Brazil.
The story was created in the moment, inspired by the Embassy and shot without a crew.

The Embassy is famous for its renowned engineer Pier Luigi Nervi. In his time, he was the rockstar of architecture, creating works all over the world, such as the Papal Audience Hall in the Vatican and the UNESCO headquarters in Paris. The structure Nervi had created is a magical but also dark and lonely place, we wanted it to overwhelm the story, therefore becoming a character itself. What would happen to someone who lived completely isolated in this empty mansion? We took that idea and exaggerated it.

Solitaire is dark comedy about a young woman that has shut herself in her mansion from all human interaction. She welcomes into her house a young man who wishes to work on her property as a groundskeeper. This man is the perfect excuse for her to have some companionship. She quickly becomes overly attached to him and the story takes a surreal magical turn when he tries to leave the estate.
I wanted the film to have a suspenseful tone, full of funny and awkward moments. I hope the viewer enjoys these fun moments in a film about friendship and loneliness.

– Paola Bernardini

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