Ready To Meet The L.E.S. – Artist Marinella Senatore

Artist and filmmaker Marinella Senatore will be making a film with, and created by, Lower East Side residents

Artist and filmmaker Marinella Senatore will be making a film with, and created by, Lower East Side residents

Italian filmmaker and artist Marienella Senatore creates site specific, group film projects with communities around the world.  Her film, Speak Easy, was created and produced by 1200 residents of Madrid, Spain. Over 400 residents of Trento, Italy, helped create All The Things I Need, a musical collaboration about the life of W. Bentley. Now she’s ready to create a project with the residents of the Lower East Side. I met with her yesterday as she was preparing for a three-day long casting call, which will take place at Clemente Soto Velez.

“I usually work (since 2006) by involving the entire community in my projects. The goal of my project is the entire process not just the result,” she told me.  “Recently I worked with a community of ex-miners in Sicily, and an entire community of neighbors in Madrid. Sometimes my movies are produced by thousands of people. I did a campaign, 1 euro to be a producer, and people who gave one euro became the executive producer of the movie, so I try to involve the community in a different way.”

“In this case I am thinking about something for the Bowery area and I’d like to propose to the people, to make a movie about the neighborhood.”  She said, “The most important part is the casting process, it’s open to everyone, all shapes and sizes and backgrounds. We need to find not just actors but writers and people that want to use the camera and make the set, to take part in each role of the production. I usually write the screenplay with the community. So for this, our goal is to find out how many people want to work with us and what type of work they want to do (and what level of involvement they want to have). So this will be the movie of the neighborhood.   It’ s a real interaction with the people.”

The project is a collaboration with No Longer Empty, an organization that orchestrates public art exhibitions in vacated storefronts around New York City. The film will be part of the New Museum’s large scale “Festival of New Ideas,” happening this Spring. If you or anyone you know might be interested, make sure to go to the casting call: January 8-10th at 10am at Clemente Soto Velez – 107 Suffolk Street. Contact for more information.