At this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, two Free The Bid directors – Ro Haber and Savanah Leaf – were given the opportunity to premiere stunning short films as part of BVLGARI’s multi-year partnership with Tribeca Studios.
Savanah’s film, “The Fourth Wave,” or “La Quarta Onda,” focuses on 22 year old Italian-born rapper Alessandra Prete, also known as ‘Priestess’, as she reflects on iconic female figures including her grandmother, who encouraged her to reach as far beyond her hometown as possible. The resulting film is a beautiful and original hybrid documentary, celebrating modern-day female empowerment.
We spoke with both Savanah and Free The Bid editor Ari Tomasettig, touching on the willingness to get their hands dirty during the creative process, capturing Alessandra’s journey from small-town Italy, and the poignancy of seeing the film on the big screen at one of the world’s most important film festivals.
SAVANAH LEAF, Director
Filming ‘La Quarta Onda’ was definitely a tough experience. Shooting is never as glamorous as viewing the outcome, but I feel lucky to have worked with such great artists on the project. We had a strong team of creative voices behind and in front of the camera. Everyone had to get their hands dirty and put so much time and work into the project, and I definitely think it paid off.
I went to the Tribeca screening and got to watch the film on the big screen sitting alongside Alessandra, who flew out especially for the event. It felt so special to even hear her music playing before the screening began. The whole thing felt a bit surreal. Learning Alessandra’s story: coming from such a small village in Southern Italy, seeing Alessandra work so hard on her music, and then to see her watch herself on the big screen in New York City at one of the biggest film festivals in the world…it was just incredible.
ARI TOMMASETTIG, Editor
Working on ‘La Quarta Onda’ gave me, for the first time in my career, the opportunity to edit in my native language and work on material the culture of which I was familiar and intimate with. Having worked with Savanah a few times already, I knew she was going to bring something special and raw to the table, and she didn’t disappoint. Savanah was able to capture beautifully how it feels to come from a small town in Italy (having come from one myself). There were many themes that aligned with my personal experiences. The hopes and dreams you nurture as you enter adulthood, the urgency of the need to experience the world outside your small town, mixed with the pride you feel for your roots.
I loved how Savanah captured most of the sound bites as a conversation between Alessandra and her collaborators, friends and family, rather than a question/answer format. My job was to extract the most powerful parts of the interactions, which allowed us to tell Alessandra’s story while maintaining the natural and organic feel of the longer conversations. My favorite scene was the interaction between Alessandra and her grandmother, which made me homesick in the best possible way.
Regarding Free The Bid – I really appreciate its mission to give a platform to underrepresented filmmakers. It is a necessary piece in the industry to diversify and cultivate voices that need to be heard.
Tribeca Studios in Association with Bvlgari Roma
“The 4th Wave”
Director Savanah Leaf
Production Company Lief
Producer Grace Carroll
Producer Margo Mars
Executive Producer (Tribeca) Nina Chaudry
Supervising Producer (Tribeca) Adrienne Collatos
Director of Photography Kate Arizmendi
Director of Photography (LA) Kristian Zuniga
Costume Designer Yosephine Melfi
Offline Edit Final Cut
Editor Arianna Tomasettig
Final Cut Executive Producer Suzy Ramirez
VFX Creative Director Betty Cameron
Colorist Jason Wallis
Sound Design Ben Chick
Featuring (In Order of Appearance)
Brigida Nardelli, Ombra , Kang Brulèe, Dub.IO, MadMan, Elisbetta Montanaro, Grazie Minabile, Arianna Zola Tanerélle, Pietro Miano, Daniele Negri
Young Priestess Letizia Ladisa
Young Friends Rebecca Insalata & Maria Raffaella Murgese
Dancer Serena Angelini
Line Producer Andrea Santarelli
Casting Director Azzurra Martino
Gaffer Roberto Bianchi
Key Grip Marco Emidi
1st Assistant Camera Simone Scarozza
2nd Assistant Camera Lorenzo Ceccarelli
DIT Marco Ranieri
Sound Recordist Fabio Santesarti
Hair & Make-Up Artist Silvia Sidoli
Costume Assistant Bea Bordone
Production Assistant Giancarlo Daiello
Driver Antonello Gizzi
Director of Photography (Rome) Claudio Napoli
Los Angeles Unit
Line Producer Roberto Rodriguez
1st Assistant Camera Jeremy Asuncion
2nd Assistant Camera Theo Thompson
Sound Recordist Patrick Lamm
Hair & Make-Up Artist Tanya Melendez
Location Koncious Studio
Graphic Design Fraser Muggeridge Studio
Telecine Electric Theatre Collective
ETC Producer Ashlee Kalinowski
Re-Recording Mixer William Miller
Online Edit Significant Others
Director’s Assistant Katerine Bampton
Researcher Sarah Roselle Khan
Accountant Zoe Jones
Travel Agent Chartwell Trave
Partnership Development (Tribeca) Jackie Hassell
Legal (Tribeca) Eileen Rodriguez
Accounting (Tribeca) Joe Pugliese
Content Assistant (Tribeca) Jaimi Cooks
Special Thanks Tanta Roba Label, Daniele Negri, Giulia Maria Quinto, Cripta Basement, Alma Har’el, Tender To Italy, Polly Pictures, Circolo Degli Illuminati, Hotel Falco D’oroAlix Spence, Bria Little