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Interview With Il Moro Director: Daphne Di Cinto

Daphne Di Cinto is a Black Italian screenwriter, director, actor, and producer who has studied and worked in Rome, Paris, New York, and London. An Actors Studio Drama School alumni, she has played the Duchess of Hasting in the Netflix series Bridgerton. Daphne is the screenwriter and producer of the short film Il Moro The Moor, her directorial debut, winner of Best Italian Short Film at Fabrique du Cinéma Awards 2021. The IL MORO Film — A Story of Alessandro De’ Medici — The Black Italian Duke of Florence premiered at Pan African Film Festival 2022.

Daphne was a finalist of both Screencraft Film Fund Spring 2021 and the Phil Fox Award for Playwriting 2020 and a quarterfinalist of the Emerging Screenwriters Genre Screenplay Competition. As a screenwriter, she has developed both features and series within various genres, from comedy to sci-fi. Daphne is interested in topics such as immigration, integration versus assimilation, racial identity, and the female gaze.

As the screenwriter and producer of the short film Il Moro, why do you think it’s important for audiences to see the film?

There is a global lack of consciousness of the Afro-European experience and of its history. When you grow up black in Europe you look at the US for representation. At the same time in the US people are surprised to hear there are Black-Italians or Black-Germans, or Black- Greek, let alone that they were present in our past history. Il Moro is just one mosaic tile that I hope will be part of something much bigger.

What was the film journey like for you from start to finish?

It was such a rollercoaster. It was an indie born out of getting stuck at my parents place during lockdown, but when the ball started rolling it quickly became much bigger than any of is imagined. It has been challenging at times. Someone told me I was aiming too high. I think their words were something along the lines of: “it’s just a short film, not like you have to go to Hollywood”. So funny!

Also, as the trailer came out, I started to get some hate on social media from people that want to deny the character’s background. They base their theories mainly on Wikipedia. I encourage people to really delve into researching the character’s life, not just stay on the surface.