Inner Me

Filmmaker Q&A with Director Antonio Spanò

Is there a particular documentary film or filmmaker that had a major influence on your career?

Kurosawa, Malick


What motivated you to make this film?

While working on my previous film, The SIlent Chaos, which was originally supposed to be a documentary about the civil war in Congo, I met a community of deaf people in Butembo who welcomed me as a friend and accepted to tell their stories, playing an important part in the movie. I was deeply moved by their stories and I felt compelled to make another documentary to give voice to  the struggles of deaf people in Congo, this time from the perspective of the women.


Please tell us what camera(s) you shot with primarily – and any other special equipment that you used and why you used it.

Sony pwm ex 1-R, Sennheiser boom kit, Tascam hdr-100 mark II


Please tell us about any special styles or techniques that you used during the production of your film to help tell your story. 

I didn’t want to capture a factual record of the city, but rather to engage with the story’s surroundings in a dynamic way. In North Kivu life happens in the streets; with a hand-held camera or a shoulder rig I follow Jemima directly into the chaotic streets of Butembo and take the audience right into the beating heart of the city, into the dust.


How did your story evolve from day one, to the very last day in post? Is your story what you thought it would be?

We spent a month in Butembo, North Kivu (RDC). We did interviews in the first ten days without filming to get acquainted with people and their stories, consequently adjusting the script.

It’s always difficult to film in Congo due to poor safety conditions and a completely different culture, but Inner Me resulted to be very near to our first idea, if not even better.


Please describe the most rewarding experience you had while making this film. 

Working with Jemima, Stuka, Sylvie and Kanduki, the four main characters, has been meaningful. Their openness and friendliness are something I’ll never forget.


What advice can you give to other impact filmmakers?

To stick to your own point of view, staying faithful to your ideas. As a filmmaker you have to define your point of view, it’s your way to see the world and it has to be consistent and true


What’s your favorite part about the filmmaking process and why?

Filming, it’s really a thrilling experience for me.

It’s the crucial moment when you capture something while it’s happening, trying to picture it while remaining true to the actual facts.


What’s the one item you always take with you when working out in the field and why? 

Extra batteries!


Please share a personal story about your experience making this film.

As well as my previous experiences, I was surprised by the series of fortunate events that helped me through the process, meeting people I wasn’t expecting to meet, everything going well against all odds. For example the way we met John Donnelly and how he became the soundtrack composer or the support by both friends and unknown people.


Can you describe any obstacles you encountered in making your film and/or in your distribution/exhibition efforts?

As an independent production it’s very difficult to be noticed and to show Inner Me. The topic and the length could be an obstacle to the majority, but a festival like SIMA Awards give us hope and will to keep on trying!


What do you want audiences to take away from your film?

Emotions and questions. We’re satisfied if the audience left touched in some way and with questions opened. It’s up to the viewer to find the answer.


Please list key points that should be covered in a post-screening discussion:

– The making of Inner Me, shooting in Congo

– Inner Me main topics: deaf women conditions; relationship and communication barriers


Please provide information on any recent developments regarding the issue or subjects of the film. How have things changed or not changed?

Unfortunately there is no improvement of the conditions of the deaf down there.


What opportunities are available for those interested in getting further involved?

We’ll be more than happy to put in contact with Father Kassereka Walire who’s dedicating his life to the deaf people in Butembo.


Please provide any additional resources (websites, links to additional videos, forms, articles, etc.):



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