Catching up with Italy’s screenwriter and director Giuseppe Cossentino is like catching up with an old friend. Same good cheer, same happy conversation as if time had stood still. With that wonderful drive, and that same humility, Giuseppe is still working day and night...a creative night owl who loves his work just as much as he adores his city. Though still in his twenties, the young man, born and raised in Napoli, is busier than ever and has no plans of slowing down.
Although we often chit chat via email, a year has passed since Giuseppe and I spoke about his award winning radio program, Passioni Senza Fine. Much has happened since then. Within the last year, Giuseppe has traveled to the states, collaborated with his brother, a PR agent, and is in the process of developing a new series, Assunta e Gennarino with actress Maria Rosaria Virgili and actor Luca Marano. Not only has his work continued to take him to new heights professionally, but it has also garnered praise and recognition from both his audiences and within the entertainment field itself.
Last month, he won three awards at the prestigious Web Festival which is held annually in Rome. Recently, I sat with my friend from the south as we spoke about his current projects and his collaboration with fellow artists- presenter Giuseppe Nappa and poet Tina Piccolo.
Gaya Lynn: Caro Giuseppe, welcome back to L’Italo-americano. Tell me about how your radio program “Passioni Senza Fine” is doing as it about to enter its fifth season.
Giuseppe Cossentino: The radio program/ soap opera is doing great. It continues to have a growing following while making a strong impact in the media, both of which has given me great satisfaction, both personally and professionally. For me, it is a great joy and a source of pride to have created an Italian made “product” that is so loved on the web. Most recently, it won for the Best Web Soap at Rome’s Web Awards 2015, winning over several other entries from different continents. The award recognized me for being able to have created and produced an Italian radio drama after a virtual absence of its genre for almost forty years.
GL: Congratulations on winning at Rome’s entertainment festival. I know you have recently worked with another talent from Napoli - Giuseppe Nappa, a young man who produces and conducts interviews on his show “Occhio all’ Artista.” You both just collaborated on a project. Tell us about it.
GC: One of the most enjoyable and rewarding artistic collaborations I’ve ever done was with the journalist and TV presenter, Giuseppe Nappa. It all began with a phone call. Giuseppe was telling me that he was working on a project- the book “Napoli Nel Cuore,” with the great poet, Tina Piccolo. And while he was listening to my monologue “Caffettiera Napoletana,” which talks about the traditions of the old coffee makers (dell’antica macchinetta del caffè) an important symbol of Napoli which is almost forgotten. Thanks to the arrival of the latest “Moka Express,” Nappa fell in love with this text and wanted to incorporate it within his work with the poetessa.
His book, “Napoli Nel Cuore, published by Autorinediti, has been tremendously successful, so much so that Giuseppe Nappa wanted to continue along the same vein and make it into a short film. He called me to become both the film’s screenwriter and director. The amazing cast which I carefully selected is composed of actresses Emanuela Tittocchia and Anna Capasso and actor Mariano Mascolo.
The short was a huge success and won “Best Screenplay” at the Rome Web Awards 2015. A huge sense of satisfaction for me in regards to my work which I do with much love and sacrifice.
GL: It must have been so wonderful to have received such an important award. What did it mean to you as an artist.
GC: I came home with three Web Awards at the festival which is an international Award’s ceremony. The first award was for Best Screenplay for the short, “Napoli Nel Cuore,” then the second was “Best Soap” for “Passioni Senza Fine,” and the third was a Golden Web Honorary Award, “la stella onoraria,” an oscar for being able to reinterpret the classics....
GL: How exciting. Last year, you were in the states. Tell us about your experience.
GC: Yes, it was a trip that my brother, Sante, gave me for having graduated. An unforgettable experience. It doesn’t happen often that one gets to travel also by bus for many hours and visit wonderful places, places that still are instilled within my memory. Places like Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Atlantic City and many others. The most amazing experience was when I was on the set of the “Bold and the Beautiful” at the CBS lot in Los Angeles. For me, it was amazing to see a real Hollywood set. Meeting the actors, seeing how they shot this series that is sold all over the world.
I was able to get to know delightful places that are now deep within my heart. An unique experience that I will surely want to do again in a few years.
GL: You are still so young and so full of drive and ambition. Can you tell about any projects you are currently working on.
GC: I have a new soap opera on the web, a sitcom of sorts, lots of fun, that is in the works and soon to be ready. The title is “Assunta e Gennarino” and will star the actress Maria Rosaria Virgili and the actor Luca Marano. I’m also working on some monologues, and finally, an important short film with me as the screenwriter and director. Lots more to come.
GL: Wonderful. Allora aspettiamo le tue notizie.
GC: Grazie mille. È sempre un piacere essere intervistato e parlare sugli sviluppi del mio lavoro.
For more on Mr. Cossentino, go to www.facebook.com/giuseppe.cossentino
On many an occasion, Gaya Lynn dreams of Italy. www.gayalynn.com