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Idle hands? Not this filmmaker

Vincenzo Cosentino's debut work is about just that — hands, mostly his own.

April 25, 2014|By Michael Miller
  • Two hands -- Manicure, left, and Handy, right -- fall in love in Vincenzo Cosentino's "Handy," which screens Saturday at the Newport Beach Film Festival.
Two hands -- Manicure, left, and Handy, right -- fall in… (Vincenzo Cosentino )

The director's hand is constantly evident throughout Vincenzo Cosentino's feature film debut, which will screen Saturday at the Newport Beach Film Festival.

And in this case, that's not simply a cliche.

Cosentino's hand — which plays the title character, Handy — occupies nearly every scene of the 83-minute film about an extremity that detaches itself from a man's body and sets off on a journey around the world. On his travels, Handy wields a pen and finds himself under the tutelage of a demanding Italian writer, rides a tiny motorcycle, scores a job in a pizzeria and falls in love with a detached female hand named Manicure.

"Handy," in short, is about a character who travels from country to country and does a lot with limited resources. And that was the story of the film's production as well.

Cosentino, who based the movie on a short he made several years ago called "Being Handy," did most of the, well, handiwork on his own. In a very real sense, it was the Sicilian filmmaker's digits at work cutting fabric for costumes, constructing tiny sets and spending four years perched over a computer to hone the special effects.

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"This movie, maybe, can show tenacity and the will to realize a dream, so I'm always happy to be in the Q and A and answer all the questions, because it's not something that happens every day — that you make a movie completely with no funds," Cosentino said by phone last week. "So people are always full of questions about how I did it, and that's why I'm always happy to fly [to] America and explain how I did it."

Flying around to support his movie takes up a lot of Cosentino's time these days. During the making of "Handy," he quit his job as a film editor to work full-time on his pet project, and though he's started to take paid editing jobs again, he'll hop on a plane in an instant to promote his film at another festival.

When he makes his latest stop in Newport Beach, Cosentino will be on the lookout for a kindred spirit.

"I remember when I was a kid, I was always full of questions — how things were made," he said. "So I'm always happy to answer that kid's question, because no one was there to answer my question."

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