Silversnake Michelle

Micaela Battista, alias SILVERSNAKE MICHELLE, was born in Turin in 1975.
In 1993 she started studying acting at Teatro Nuovo in Turin with Renato Liprandi and carried on her studies at Tangram Teatro, following the teachings of Ivana Ferri and Bruno Maria Ferraro.

She performed in a number of theater shows, interpreting a range of both dramatic (e.g. Lady Macbeth ) and comedic (e.g. Puck the fairy) roles. In the meantime she graduated from law school and passed the lawyer professional examination.

Since 2011 she took part in a choral studies program as a soprano, with Civici Cori of Milan.
She followed lessons of ethnomusicology in Milan. She passed the examination of music theory at the University of musicology.

Since 2012 she has been studying modern singing with Dino Brentali
In 2013 she undertook a personal musical research path. Since then she has been composing and interpreting her own songs, under the name of SilverSnake Michelle. Her stage name is a symbol of rebirth and wisdom, and it represents life itself.

She met Dario Arena (guitar) and Daniele Marchetti (keyboards and guitar) and they help her to arrange songs
In 2014 she released her first album "So in my mind". She performed in various clubs in Milan, electric and acoustic way.
In October 2014, she was selected to participate in a television program in the United States (Cape Cod): LIVE FROM CENTER STAGE performing in USA with Daniele Marchetti (guitars and keyboards) and local musicians.

In 2016 she released her second album "Her Snakeness", a progressive concept album composed of 14 tracks.
In 2017 she released a new EP "...Buries The Secret Of..." that is a conclusion of previous album.

1. Your film THE EMPTY FULLNESS has become a Official Selection our competition. How was the film inspired?

First of all thanks so much for selection!! The film is inspired by the bulimia, by the unease and the emptiness behind this eating disorder. It is a problem without age. I am still fighting it today. The feeling of having to fill a void with food... symbol of love. But it's not like that. That obsession becomes monstrous, ravenous, engulfing. And it's the food that gradually devoured my soul. Besides having expressed the problem through a song, I also needed to dive myself into it, and see myself from the outside. And to listen to the emotions that this aroused in me. A kind of cure.

2. Tell us about your background and when did you decide to become a filmmaker?

I started out as an actress. I studied a lot about acting, continuously observing directors' work. I often went to rehearsals of plays just to see how the same play was staged by different theater companies. I made my way as an actress, both in theater and video clips/short films, and also in some small television roles. I shot two video clips of my songs with a director. When the script is yours it is more difficult to adapt, because you already have in mind what the video should look like. So I decided to give it a try on my own, and here I am.

3. Films that inspired you to become a filmmaker?

Iranian director Babak Habibifar was inspiring. He was able to impress me with the short film "The fish and I", shot with very few resources. Then all the films of the Italian neo-realism. Speaking instead of more contemporary films: La migliore offerta (The best offer), Lettere di uno sconosciuto (Coming home), La grande bellezza (The great beauty), The book thief, La ricerca della felicità (The pursuit of happyness), Le tout nouveau testament (The brand new testament). These are just some of the titles I can think of.

4. Who is your biggest influence?

There are many of them. I would say impossible to list them all. I’ll mention a few: the cinematographic influences are Fellini, Tarkovskij, Tornatore, Truffaut... And then I would like to list some artists, who have little to do with movies, but who still influence my style, both video and writing (including music), as they create a dreamlike and surreal image belonging to me. That’s because for me, all the arts are intertwined. And a music or a dance can inspire some kind of filmmaking style. Just to mention a few: Magritte, Escher, Pina Bausch, The Pink Floyd.

5. Do you have a favorite genre to work in? Why is it your favorite?

I really like working on music videos. Because gestures and expressiveness are highlighted. A kind of silent movie. Scenes are fast, immersive, sometimes dreamlike, and you tell a story in a few minutes combining multiple artistic forms: music, literature, cinema, dance. I feel like I have the most creative freedom.

6. What’s your all-time favorite movie and why?

This is a very challenging question. There are at least hundreds of them. I like movies where personal stories are told. Watching them you get into a new reality, which leads you to live new lives. Just to mention one: Coming Home (Gui Lai), a Chinese movie directed by Zhang Yimou. It is a love story where love is certainly presented in a powerful and profound way, but perhaps in a more unusual way, and not in the typical sappy and honeyed way. And what should remain with me at last, is a deep emotion. I have to stay into the film’s atmosphere even when it’s ended.

7. If you could work with anyone in the world, who would that person be?

I’d love to work with Giuseppe Tornatore and with Woody Allen.

8. The one person who has truly believed in you throughout your career.

This is a question I have always dreamed of answering to take my little payback. The person who has always believed in me is myself. Since I was a little girl I had the dream of working in the performing arts. My dreams, always streamlined by everyone. Supported by my parents, but never fully. “Because being an actor, a director, a musician is not a real job.” And I have always struggled to prove otherwise. And in the end I owe it all to myself. I thank people who helped and supported me along the way, but if I had not been so firm and determined, I would have lost them too. So… thank you Michelle!!!

9. What was the most important lesson you had to learn as filmmaker?

Constancy and dedication. To watch other people's work to learn, without never betray yourself. This is a lesson that also goes for music. Not to be afraid to get involved, even if you do something outside the box.

10. What keeps you motivated?

The power of creating something from an idea. The inner force that unleashes art, when an idea is realized (music, story, video). And finally, sharing and building with other people. By working together, we create a new world.

11. How has your style evolved?

I will tell you this later on, since this music video is my first experience. Anyway, I’d say I have a very simple style. I like to follow a script but I leave room for improvisation, when you know how to do it. I also like the imperfection, making everything more real and more human.

12. On set, the most important thing is…

On set it’s important to be professional, calm and focused. Everyone must know what their role is, working together for the success of the film. I don’t like a set with conflicts or some prima donna. We are all equally essential. Each of us is a small cog in a larger machine. If someone stops, the machine jams.

13. The project(s) you’re most proud of…

I am very proud of this film: “THE EMPTY FULLNESS”. It’s my first job, I know there’s a lot to improve, but with few means, I was able to create and express what I had in my mind. The work was very much enjoyed and won several awards. He was a finalist in various festivals and in as many was selected. The subject is delicate. I wanted to represent it for how I live and perceive it, without too much frills and without softening it. Sincere and true.

14. The most challenging project you worked on. And why?

It will be my next project. A music video taken from a song, which is based on a play I wrote. I have many images in my mind. It will be hard to tie them together trying not to make a too long video. But I can't wait to start...

15. What are your short term and long term career goals?

In the short term I would like to shoot a new music video. In the long term I would like my art to become very popular, so to work with great artists, both directors and actors.

16. Your next projects?

I would like to shoot a music video clip involving socially deprived teens, trying to put them in a most creative and better social environment. It could be a cure, and a fantastic experience of mutual sharing and teaching.

Thank you for your great answers! I believe they inspire many of you to read this article!

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