We had the good fortune of connecting with Giovanni Labadessa and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Giovanni, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
When we started thinking about Nòtstream we had one thing pretty clear in our mind: for independent filmmakers to succeed in finding an audience in this new streaming era something had to change. I was fortunate enough to have my first film distributed it and when it ended up on a major streaming platform I was very excited. I believed, at the time, that being able to reach out to an audience of millions was the greatest opportunity my film could have. Sadly the film ended up just being lost in this all-you-can-eat style film library and for two years that was it. I first came to Hollywood in 2005 from Italy and I still remember walking into the Blockbuster on Sunset Blvd, looking at DVDs cover, searching for new films. Ultimately, I would always end up by the staff pick shelves asking for suggestions to the super cute and knowledgeable girl working at the counter. That girl and the staff pick selection was our inspiration in making Nòtstream, an ever changing small selection of hand picked films chosen for you by someone just as passionate and knowledgeable as that girl.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
About my career… more than what sets me apart from others I believe is what I have in common… Which for most filmmakers is a long history of rejections. I simply chose to embrace every rejection, because each one has pushed me to look for new ways and create a path for myself. When we founded NÒT both the Film Festival and the Streaming Platform we wanted to create a safe harbor for all who were rejected, and hopefully, just like the first Salon des Refusés in Paris brought to the world the art of impressionist painters, help the great filmmakers of tomorrow be discovered. Rejections are just part of the journey we made it our mantra.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
After 16 years living in Los Angeles I have carved out my own little LA itinerary, from the expected to the weird. Right now with the covid restrictions might not be all available but I’ll give it a go. I live in Venice, which is always a great start, the beach, the atmosphere and most of all the community, that is not something you can find elsewhere. Here you can find great spots for food from Tasting Kitchen to Zelda’s sandwiches, awesome hangouts like the Tavern and if you are lucky you might find your way to the Winston House for a secret concert. Moving east you can’t miss visiting UCLA campus, their meteorite collection and Alberto Burri sculpture Large Black Crack. Lots of great middle eastern food around there so no need to recommend one in particular. I always recommend taking some time at Franklin Village, stop by The Oaks for a Burger or their breakfast burrito and just hang, on a different time I would have told you get a beer at La Poubelle and catch a Improv Show at UCB next door. I took most of my friends there and I was always able to impressed them with a movie star or two showing up on a vintage car. On the weird if you have the chance visit Dapper Cadaver, they make props for film, the Houdini Estate and the Secret OZ Garden in the Hollywood Hills. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would dedicate this shoutout to Noe Bruschi, she has been a partner in life and in all my latest business endeavors. Her passion and her creativity is always an inspiration.