Partners in Film and in Life, Philip Morelli and Alice Del Corso are an Unstoppable Team

Screenwriter Alice Del Corso and Director Philip Morelli at the Valdarno Theatre shot by Federica Bacci

Italian filmmaking duo Philip Morelli and Alice Del Corso are the epitome of what it means to be a “power couple.” With Philip as the director and Alice as the screenwriter behind their projects, the two have made a powerful impact on the international film industry in recent years.

Their recent film “Apeiron” took home the Best Trailer Award from the International Independent Film Awards, Best Drama Short Award from the Hollywood International Moving Pictures Film Festival, Best Short Awards from Los Angeles CineFest, Best of the Year Award from the Gold Movie Awards, Best Short Award from the Hollywood Film Competition, as well as the Best Short Awards from the Toronto International Nollywood Film Festival and the Chicago Independent Film Festival.

“Apeiron” film poster

Another big award winner for Philip and Alice was their film “Magnolia: Hearts on Fire Vol. 1,” which earned the Festival Prize Awards for Best Short and Best Score at the Creation International Film Festival, the Lifetime Achievement Award for Best Short Film from the Couch Film Festival, the Festival Prize for Best Short Film from the Crown Wood International Film Festival, the July Award for Trailer of the Month from The Monthly Film Festival, as well as the Best Short Awards from the Rolling Ideas, Via dei Corti and Etna Film Festival.

The films “Apeiron,” “Magnolia: Hearts on Fire Vol. 1,” “Inside” and “Suspensum” have all demonstrated that Philip and Alice are a supremely talented and accomplished team with leagues of creativity at their disposal.

When asked about what makes Philip and Alice such a strong team, Andrea Loreti, the executive producer on “Apeiron,” explains, “Surely the indissoluble chemistry between them. They know what they want and how to get it, they work together to collaborate on their ideas and projects, achieving the sought-after perfection in them. Alice has so many ideas, she’s always able to give birth to wonderful stories like nobody else, and Philip, with his huge directorial talent, is able to bring these ideas to life, and everything with an unsettling naturalness.”

A stellar example of what’s possible when two people join forces with love and a common vision, their story is one that might just make your heart melt with inspiration. Philip first began making short films at the age of 10. At that time, Alice was busy putting pen to paper and immersing herself in the world of storytelling through writing.

“I’d always been a quiet child, I used to play a lot on my own… in elementary school everybody called me Alice in Wonderland,” Alice recalls . “I always had a big imagination, when I was 8 a couple of friends in my class and I created a school newspaper and I was the one who had to fill the short story part every month. Sometimes it was divided into two or three different episodes… I’ve always been writing stories.”

Though both Philip and Alice are originally from Tuscany, Italy, they didn’t meet until they were in their late teens. With each of them beginning to hone their talents and passion for their individual crafts at such a young age, by the time they finally met in 2006 it was as if it were fate. They were able to easily join their different, but equally powerful skill sets and begin creating films together.

“Alice was 19 and I was 18. We had some common friends that introduced each other and we discovered we had the same love for stories and cinema. We started collaborating and making our own short films: Alice took care of the story and the characters, while I took care of the shooting and editing,” recalls Philip.

“Our first project was a pulp short film called ‘Freaked Out’ and the year was 2007. It was a no budget project so we struggled a bit to make it, mainly because there was a lot of material to shoot. However, we had so much fun doing it and we learned a lot of useful tricks for future projects.”

Since then, they’ve gone onto create numerous successful projects that have impressed audiences and film festival judges around the world. In 2013, Philip and Alice founded the production company Castle View Studio through which they have developed and produced an impressive list of multi-award winning films such as “Apeiron” and “Magnolia: Hearts on Fire Vol. 1,” commercials, music videos, and more.

“I always have a clear vision of the story I want to tell. I’ve been told that I have the ability to adapt my technique and change it for every project that I realize, always being at the service of the story,” says Philip. “I change my directing style for every single project I realize, trying to make things as real as possible by focusing on the details. I usually make most of my scenes voluntarily unexposed to give them that dramatic effect I like, and I love giving a true dirty film stock look in every scene.”

In 2015, Philip and Alice took a sci-fi story Alice had written and turned it into the acclaimed film “Apeiron” starring dazzling actress Beatrice Gattai (“Wedding in Rome,” “Red Net”), Rocco Fasano (“Hundred to Go,” “Tender Eyes”) and Benjamin Stender (“Don Matteo,” “The Name of the Rose”).

Set in Antarctica, Earth’s last habitable place after a global apocalypse, the incredibly cinematic dystopian film “Apeiron” centers on humanity’s remaining survivors, who live under close watch in a government outpost, and the few gifted people among them who’s ability to transcend space and time have the potential to change everything.

“During that period of time I was reading a lot about global warming, climate change and all the bad effects these issues have on our planet and our quality of life. Nations didn’t all agree on taking action and I started to imagine what would happen if that disagreement could reach a dangerous point and evolve into a war to conquer the last livable places on Earth,” explains Alice about her inspiration for writing the screenplay for the film.

“Every species has the ability to change somehow and save itself from extinction, so I thought that in ‘Apeiron’ there had to be someone who was different from the others, someone who evolved without even knowing it, just to survive.”

In the film, the lead character Adele Stain played by Beatrice Gattai, one of the gifted ones, is thrown out of the outpost for trying to use her powers to save her remaining family members, who’d been marked as contaminated and left for dead. Exiled and left alone in desolate arctic whiteout, it appears that Adele will surely come to an untimely demise — that is, until she is saved by the Resistance. Any solid story centered on a post-apocalyptic dystopian society needs to have an underdog in some form there to fight back against the evil powers at be, and in “Apeiron” they are the Resistance.

The crisp and cinematic visuals, the actors’ powerful performances, the production design, and the brilliant VFX work combine to make “Apeiron” an incredibly riveting film to watch. As the director Philip flawlessly turned Alice’s enticing screenplay into an engaging visual story that we can’t peel our eyes away from.

Director Philip Morelli on set of “Apeiron” shot by Donatello Gradassi

“Apeiron” executive producer Andrea Loreti says “Once started, everything is painted in [Philip and Alice’s] clear and crystalline minds, making it easier for everyone to work, because they are able to coordinate and manage groups of people with absolute naturalness since they have a clear vision from the beginning of the whole project.”

In addition to earning a long list of awards at festivals across the globe, “Apeiron” was chosen as an Official Selection of the TMC London Film Festival, Global Trailer Film Festival, Depth of Field International Film Festival, the Global Web Episode Competition and more.

“Working with [Philip] is like being home. We understand each other just with a single look, I can guess what he’s thinking about and understand what he wants to show in a story, and this makes it so easy to find a common point when we work on a project,” says Alice. “He really cares about every single project that we work on, he’s a perfectionist and he always wants to do the best job, so this makes him challenging sometimes, but in a stimulating way.”

Philip and Alice are also the directing and writing team behind the 2014 dramatic fantasy film “Suspensum,” which was chosen as an Official Selection of the Cannes Film Festival’s Short Film Corner, and the 2017 mystery film “Inside,” which was an Official Selection of the Direct Monthly Film Festival.

Alice Del Corso and Philip Morelli at the Quercia Film Festival

Two years ago they also founded the Quercia Film Festival in Quercianella, Italy. With sponsorship from the Municipality of Livorno, the second annual Quercia Film Festival took place over the course of three days this past July and featured film selections from across the globe.

“Being humble is the first important thing we put on the table. Each of our vision matters, but none of it dominates on the other,” explains Philip about what makes them such a good team. “We always talk about everything, why we like some things in a project and why we don’t like others. We are aware of the fact that a story is always changing, growing and moving in its own direction, even if sometimes it’s not the one you’ve imagined. We also don’t pretend to know everything and we’re always open to learn new things from every experience.”

With so much talent and creative inspiration flowing between director Philip Morelli and writer Alice Del Corso, audiences can rest assured that these two are busy working on their next big project. Up next for this power couple is the dramatic sci-fi feature “Memoria,” which is slated to begin shooting next year in Atlanta, Georgia. Set 20 years in the future, the film revolves around Memoria, a new technology that has allowed humans to far exceed their current intelligence potential, however, with every positive side of technological comes a dark side.

Alice explains, “A technology that could be used to change people’s lives, curing illnesses and connecting to each other, is instead used to feed a gap that only money can fill it up. Memoria’s unique perspective goes deep into the philosophical aspects of the characters and the way they relate with this technology, avoiding cliché and going deep into their lives.”

With a powerful story and a strong team behind it, “Memoria” is cruising through its pre-production phase and garnering a lot of interest from funders. The film already has some notable actors and producers attached to cast, but those will be announced at a later date, so be sure to stay tuned.

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