The MILA Story is Personal to Me Because it Was Inspired by What My Mother Went Through During WW2 in Italy by Animator Cinzia Angelini
Film Courage: Where did you grow up?
Cinzia Angelini: I grew up in Milano, Italy but spent lot of my time during weekends and summer vacations in Trento, more in the North, where my families are from. It’s a great area both for summer and winter vacations and I have lot of amazing memories from those years.
FilmCourage: What are the best qualities that each of your parents taught you?
Cinzia: Compassion and Honesty
“[My love for animation] began in front of a tiny black and white TV as I was watching Japanese animated series like Conan, Mazinga and Lupin. I was fascinated by everything, always wondering how they did it.”
MILA — Writer and Director Cinzia Angelini — see the Indiegogo Campaign here…
Film Courage: Did your parents lend support toward creativity or encourage another type of career/focus?
Cinzia: Yes, both very supportive, especially my mom who is a painter herself. She always believed in me and did all she could to encourage and protect me. Sometimes parents and people in general don’t really support young adults that want to become artists hoping for careers that are more “stable.” She was amazing and I owe her so much! I would not be where I am today if it wasn’t for her faith in me.
Film Courage: Did you go to film school?
Cinzia: I went to an animation school in Milano. I was studying graphic design during the day and animation at night. After the first few months I felt in love with animation and I knew that animation was what I wanted to pursue in life.
Film Courage: Do you remember the first animated film you watched?
Cinzia: I remember watching Cinderella at a movie theater with all my cousins back in Italy. I think it was a Christmas and I must have been 4 or 5 years old. I remember some of it, hearing kids laughing. I remember the screen being so big and Cinderella’s dress so blue!
Film Courage: What inspired the story for MILA?
Cinzia: This story is very personal to me because it was inspired by what my mother went through during WW2 in Italy. She would tell me about how frightening it was when she would hear the planes fly overhead and the sounds of the explosions from the bombs dropping. Thankfully, she didn’t incur any losses of family, but many people did, as you know, but the fear and the memories still haunt her. So, I started thinking about how tragic events, especially war affects children and how that will stay with them forever. I have two children myself and the thought of them ever having to deal with something like this is unthinkable as a parent and I really wanted to create “Mila” so that hopefully we, as a society can start a conversation not only amongst ourselves, but with our children. They are our future leaders, so if we can help change the course of one future leaders’ actions away from unnecessary war, then I feel that we might be able to help avoid history repeating itself and of course, less death and destruction and children having to grow up so fast without their parents or loved ones.
Film Courage: When did you learn the full story of your mother’s history?
Cinzia: I was a child. I heard that story of her not being able to even move when the attacks would start over and over again. Maybe it was my mom’s way of coping with it; sharing that with me so many times during the years. My grandmother also told me a lot of stories about those difficult times. How some of her friends died under the bombs, how the Nazis just came in and occupied the house, how the family escaped at night up the mountains to avoid the bombings. So much courage, strengths and resilience. Extremely difficult times and it’s sad to see it happening again today, every day.
Film Courage: What did she teach you about resilience, either from outright discussion or by observing her?
Cinzia: She taught me that human beings can be extremely strong but at the same time incredibly fragile and that life must be protected and respected at all times. She often says that if man would experience what it means to give birth we would have less violence and conflicts in the world. I agree. I am a mother and I think women have an embedded respect for life because we know what it is to carry one inside you…(Read more of Cinzia’s incredible story here via FilmCourage.com)