Recently screening at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival, Words to Remember was shot in four different languages in over twenty locations in and around the Greater Toronto Area. This is director Pasquale Marco Veltri’s fifth short film and it’s receiving international attention.
It won the Chris Statuette for Narrative Film last year, which is the highest honour from the Columbus International Film and Video Festival. As the longest running film festival in the United States, it has sometimes been considered a festival that forecasted potential Academy Award winners.
As a work that seeks to strike a universal emotional chord, Veltri taps into our feelings of regret. He points out, “We’re all hard-wired to focus on our careers and we forget that life is about caring for the ones we love and it’s important to continually reinforce the emotional bonds we have with one another.”
His work is “a visual poem” inspired by a period in his life where he reflected and wished to change things in the present, so that he wouldn’t have to deal with regret when his life came to an end. “How important is your anger and your own opinions in the grand scheme of things?” he asks, “How you treat others is more important than how many times you were proven right.”
Words to Remember pushes the boundaries of narrative film by interweaving the pearls of wisdom each character relates into verses of insights, appreciation and regrets about the human condition. Where most films seek to give us an escape from our own life, director Pasquale Veltri chooses a documentary-style approach. His characters seem like real people, realizing what the truly important things in life are – thereby making us confront our own inner beliefs and desires.
As Veltri is also the writer of this piece, he relays his characters’ messages in their individual native tongues: Hindi, Gujarati, English and French – further adding to the documentary feel. “My community is reflected in my films,” he explains, “you can walk down the street of any major city in Canada and by the time you have travelled 3 blocks you have probably heard 3 to 4 different languages. I wanted to represent the backgrounds and cultures I grew up in and the only way to do that was to have several different languages in the film.”
Pasquale Marco Veltri’s vision as an independent filmmaker is to cross the boundaries of culture and language. He remarks, “my films have covered a variety of topics including paranoia, memory, self-doubt and regret. Every artist has an obsession that drives them and pushes them forward and I’ve always been driven to try to understand why we do what we do and what makes us who we are.”
Having had the success of screening his short films here in Canada, the USA, Britain, France, Italy and Egypt – Veltri is branching out to work on his first feature film, Drowning, which we look forward to seeing. He is one of those artists, through the lens of their work that is always reminding us to take a good look at ourselves. Hopefully, we can all take away some “Words to Remember” from this latest inspiration.