Nessun Dorma (No One Sleeps)

: Narrative Short
GENRE: Drama
STATUS: Completed


An imaginative 11-year-old boy barrels into a rural town in a stolen Trans-Am, upending the routines of a widowed police dispatcher and a secretive barber.


The lives of Penny, the nighttime police dispatcher, and Nino, the barber, get turned upside down when 11-year-old Speed drives a stolen Trans-Am into their small rural town.

Despite the remarkable age difference and in their effort to understand more about the child’s past, they’ll have to decide whether to help him in his quest for a mysterious mermaid.


Nessun Dorma is about the universal transition from being a child and chasing dreams to getting old and holding on to memories.

As a storyteller I'm interested in exploring what happens when characters are dropped in a foreign context. I want to make a portrait of them filled with love, but not too sentimental or holding back from showing their flaws. A mix of humor and tenderness, with the addition of a pinch of darkness.

As a US/European team, our process aims to match the charming specificity of European filmmaking with the ambitious universality of American storytelling.


Matteo Servente - Director

Matteo graduated at the Torino University in Cinema Studies. He then attended a New York film Academy intensive workshop in Paris, where he experimented for over a year with a collective of fellow filmmakers. In 2004, he moved to Sydney to attend APA Int’l film School, after which he directed and produced his first short film, Dammi il La, which ended up winning awards at several international film festivals. In 2007, he moved to the US, to work on his feature debut, The Romance of Loneliness, which he eventually made in 2011 with co-director Sarah Ledbetter. He’s now developing his new feature, Nessun Dorma, which was selected as one of the finalists for the 2013 Biennale Cinema College and was invited to the 2014 IFP No Borders.

Phil Newsom - Producer

Phil is a NYC-based producer working in film and theater. He’s produced April Flowers, starring Celina Jade and Keir Dullea, the forthcoming I Can. I Will. I Did., and the feature documentary Dog Camp. He served as the co-producer and co-writer for the award-winning feature film The Monument, and his short film Kidnapping Carl played at the Quad Cinema in Manhattan last year. Other film credits include Baby Showers, Kid Sister, Simple Mind and the web series Deep Dish. For theater, Phil produced Martin Blank’s The Law of Return, which is being turned into a major motion picture by Gail Berman’s The Jackal Group. 

Joseph Carr - Producer

Joseph Carr has produced several films including the award-winning short film WE GO ON (Matteo Servente), SILVER ELVES (Morgan Jon Fox), and worked as the assistant director of the award-winning TEAM PICTURE (Kentucker Audley). He is a producer on the upcoming feature, NESSUN DORMA (Matteo Servente), currently in development. Most recently he produced the upcoming short film, COMO SE DICE, (GB Shannon) starring Sarah Hagan, written and produced by Gwen Hulet. Joseph also serves as the Festival Coordinator of the Indie Memphis Film Festival as well as the Artist Services Director, implementing and overseeing the youth and artist development programs. 

Melissa Sweazy - Writer

Melissa is an award winning screenwriter, blogger, and photographer living in Memphis, TN. Her directorial debut, JOHN'S FARM, premiered at the LA Shorts Fest in 2013 and claimed the hometowner's prize for Best Short at the Indie Memphis Film Festival. Her short screenplay THE DEPARTMENT OF SIGNS AND MAGICAL INTERVENTION won the grand prize in the 2012 Vail Film Festival's screenplay competition, placing in the top 3 at the 2013 Nantucket Film Festival. Her feature length script THE DEVIL IN REVERSE was a top ten contender in Frank Darabont's Darkwoods Entertainment category at the 2013 Austin Film Festival's writing conference, her sci-fi pilot BRINK making the semifinals. Her essays have been featured in LA Weekly and's first anthology, Dirt is Good for You, and her blog Thoroughly Modern Medusahead has been honored by Blogger as a Blog of Note. 


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The Gotham Film & Media Institute - Fiscal Sponsorship Program 2021
Venice Biennale Cinema College
IFP No Borders
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