Francis Ford Coppola for Meet the Media Guru at Teatro Dal Verme (Milan)

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Last Monday night the Dal Verme theatre in Milan hosted a special event organised by Meet the Media Guru which saw the world-famous filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola honour with his presence nearly 1500 people.

Having made cinema history with such movies as the Godfather trilogy, the director was invited to talk about his Italian origins and to promote Basilicata – the region which gave birth to his ancestors. The free happening was a triumph, with the venue reaching full capacity and almost failing to contain the ebullient audience.

After a brief introduction, Coppola was left to speak freely and he captivated everyone with his charismatic storytelling of how he became the person he is and how his talent and passion spread onto his offspring. He went on explaining how much and why he is so attached to his roots, giving away anecdotes and entertaining by means of a naturally flowing, funny and compelling speech that was frequently interrupted by loud clapping.

The second half of the event was dedicated to a Q&A, which apparently turned out to be the longest of all those held until then – Mr Coppola was so enthusiastic that he seemed unstoppable. Many, between fans and journalists, showed appreciation and gratefulness for the director’s work and interrogated him on both serious and trivial matters. Though at times he either misunderstood, forgot or even shrewdly avoided to get to the core of some inconvenient questions, the director answered them all composedly sharing words of wisdom which contented everybody.

It was a pleasant and stimulating event, however its success prompts a dilemma. Coppola suggested that the petroleum which was recently found there should be used to fuel the economy of the Basilicata region but why not start investing on a smaller scale? Had the conference been organised somewhere in Lucania, the area would have benefited from it first of all thanks to the tourism it would have generated, considering that it attracted people from all around the world, and secondly thanks to the event’s resonance. Something to think about for the next time.

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