31st May 2019
Dancing with demons
Title of film: Warrior with a Crown
Director: JMP and Francesco Cuizza
Nicco Montanari talks with model Francesco Cuizza about co-directing with LA-based filmmaker JMP on this fashion film for jewellery designer Ugo Cacciatori. Shot in the early hours on a Californian beach, Warrior with a Crown employs movement and original choreography to express how failing should be seen as the fuel for one’s success.

From model to writing your own film and starring in it. Can you tell us more about the different aspects of your career and how they all work together? Especially in relation to your creative journey.

I guess modelling has allowed me to gain experience in a wide range of areas – from sports to fashion, from photography to film and so on. I see this as an opportunity to always try and improve myself and learn whenever I can. This leads to work on several projects at the same time, all very different from one another.

Warrior with a Crown is a very personal project, which allowed me to express what I have inside but also use the skills that I’ve picked up in my career. It’s my first role as a creator, looking to leave a positive mark in this world, which is a little scary but super exciting.

Why did you decide to write Warrior with a Crown?

I wanted to share a positive message with the world. Everyone goes through hardships in life and sometimes you just feel you can’t move forward. But all it takes is to stand still and listen to yourself, learn from your mistakes and realise you already have all the answers.  Warrior with a Crown is my way of expressing that struggle, something that everyone can relate to.

Warrior with a Crown is a collaboration with jewellery designer Ugo Cacciatori. How did that come about?

It all started over lunch with Ugo in L.A last year. He’s a very dear friend of mine and a mentor to me, so we were just dwelling over the challenges and different aspects of our lives  – positive and negative. This was the first step in realising I wanted to express the idea of failure and success in a film. I shared the idea with Ugo and asked him whether I could include his collection in the film. I love Ugo’s designs and his collection to me was a perfect fit –  every single piece is very powerful and strong, like a warrior. And actually that’s the inspiration for the title.

This was the first time you co-directed a film. How did you approach it and what did you learn?

It took me a long time to prepare everything. It was definitely a learning curve. I started off with the script, as that came easiest to me. I knew what I wanted to express so I just let my mind wander and let loose. I then focused on the choreography, as I knew that the connection between the words and the movement was key and had to be perfectly in synch. I then asked my friend JMP, who’s a great filmmaker and photographer, to help me bring my vision to life. I think that the trust and chemistry that I have with him is what made Warrior with a Crown look and feel just how I imagined it.

What are the next steps for you?

Warrior with a Crown is the first of a series of short films and fashion film focusing on exploring the subconscious. I’m currently already working on the next project, which will look at invasion of privacy and how information and news are being manipulated as a result of greed.




Written By Francesco Cuizza
Co Directed By JMP & Francesco Cuizza
Shot/Edited By JMP
Music By Sporting Life