After the worldwide success of Seefeuer (2016), Rosi announced the shooting of his sixth documentary feature film in February 2018.
For Notturno he was inspired by the encounters with refugees for his previous film on the island of Lampedusa.
Rosi wanted to discover her places of origin. “It was a natural step for me to cross the water and see where the tragedy was coming from,” says Rosi. The title Notturno (literally: “Night becoming”, mostly “nocturnal”) was already fixed at the beginning of the project and was in line with the mood of the film.
Although the Italian title is not perfect, according to the director, all international film distributors would later adopt it.
For the film project, Rosi traveled through the Middle East for three years.The first two months were a challenge for him as he encountered people and their stories without a camera.Even before filming began, he was in the dark about the design of his film. “It will take a lot of time and effort to tell this story, which has already been told in so many ways, but I felt like I had to go back to fix something that was so exposed and find another point of view,” says Rosi.
Another difficulty for him was to find “everyday stories that are universal” in the Middle East. “I want to encounter everyday stories, people’s stories about normality in this world that has nothing normal, with conflicts, pain and hardship,” says Rosi.