A New Film By Flaminia Graziadei Featuring Ayi Jihu Tackles Child Abuse Head On

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Tiya Falcon Ellis

The latest work from award-winning director Flaminia Graziadei is a daunting film that tackles the subject of child abuse. The film also features Chinese star Ayi Jihu in her first film. Ayi Jihu happens to be Global Ambassador for Sisha an organization at the forefront of combating Human Trafficking and exploitation and the abuse of children.

A New Film By Flaminia Graziadei Featuring Ayi Jihu Tackles Child Abuse Head On

Fresh from her success with InsideOut an award winning film that tackles the issue of panic attacks Italian Director Flaminia Graziadei wasted no time in attacking another touchy and emotive subject in her new film ‘I believe in Monsters’.

We spoke to Italian Director Flaminia Graziadei and asked her about the film:

“What immediately struck me about ‘I Believe in Monsters’, was that at first it could seem to be a film about revenge. In reality it’s a film about catharsis, about winning the battle with our own monsters, about being able to move on.
Often situations of child abuse and domestic violence (the theme of the film) lead to repetition, in a kind of perverted “chain of damage”. The victim of the abuse becomes the abuser, creating another victim that can become a possible abuser and so on. Statistics are full of this data.
In ‘I believe in Monsters’ our protagonist inverts the pattern instead and becomes a carer for children that are suffering what she had to suffer herself. This empathic attitude leads to a surprise finale in which she is able to come to terms with her past and walk into her future.
It’s rather difficult to tell such a story with the right depth in a short film. This has been a big challenge for me as a Director, but I was helped incredibly by the very skilled cast I had. My actors were totally involved in their characters and through only a few words and a very strong interpretation, managed to deliver a highly true performance.
This is what I always ask of my actors and of myself: authenticity, trying not to manipulate the story, or the staging of it, just for taking a short cut to captivate the audience. A good story is always stronger and speaks for itself and this is what a Director is at the end of the day, a storyteller.”

Flaminia Graziadei

We managed to get Ayi Jihu on the phone and asked her about her role in the film:

This was my first real acting part, it was short and sweet but it was important for me to get something like this under my belt as I prepare for more acting roles and also my own film Fearchaser™. I play a mother in this film and I had to look and be a completely different type of person. It was quite scary because you find yourself trying too hard sometimes. I loved it though and look forward to seeing the final result.

Ayi Jihu
Ayi Jihu and Tiya Falcon Ellis on the set of I believe in monsters

The film is very deep and strong but I feel it handles the subject matter very well in such a short length of time. As Sisha Ambassador I felt it was an important role because it meant me getting into the world of abusers and the abused and it really opened my eyes. I just hope I did ok for my first film.

Director Flaminia Graziadei took the subject further in her feature The Final Haunting, a co-production between her company LonRom Film and Fierce Cat Media, that focuses on the long term consequences of psychological and sexual abuse. The film is currently in editing and will be released in May 2014.

I Believe in Monsters is about to hit the festival circuits. You can watch the trailer below:

Find out more about I Believe in monsters and the Award winning film InsideOut from Flaminia Graziadei visit the Lonrom Film Production website

For more information on Ayi Jihu visit www.Ayijihu.com

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