'Voices of Lockdown' shows darker reality to pandemic's hold on Italy

There's no shortage of balcony singing. But behind that lives an ugly truth.

Our feeds are cluttered with videos of hope being sung from the balconies of those isolated in Italy.  

But there’s a much darker side for those living in the European epicenter of COVID-19 which -- up until now -- has not been laid bare.

Los Angeles-based creative director Simone Nobili teamed up with Sebastiano Facco, a young director from Rome who has worked on many Italian series for Netflix, to document the hardship most are going through right now. 

"The inspiration behind the work is to show the reality of a lockdown and its consequences on a mental and emotional level," said Nobili. "Hence, the message: ‘No lockdown should ever feel like a letdown.’"

"Voices of Lockdown" is centered around real phone calls Facco had with friends and family. It highlights the health and financial difficulties plaguing those in the eye of the storm. 

Arsenale 23, an agency based in Rome, helped on the production side, and Yomar Augusto, a Brazilian calligrapher based in San Diego, created the typeface. 

Nobili said: "Italian lockdown isn’t just people singing from the balconies. It’s been a hard test to their livelihoods and -- in many cases -- a letdown. Some of them feel like we’re alone in this struggle, which is why it was important to us to make these conversations public and show everyone the other side of the story."

The short film has been translated for expansion in other markets after much success in Italy. 

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