Look back on one year of Testun’s epic neo-Italo eats with this equally epic short film

Testun Our Place Melle Branson
Home >Eat & Drink >Look back on one year of Testun’s epic neo-Italo eats with this equally epic short film

We can hardly believe it’s only been a year since Testun enthusiastically swung open their doors, complete with the bombastic greeting “ciao stronzi!”

In those twelve months, it’s become one of Perth’s most talked-about eateries – and the most often that’s come tumbling from our mouths when asked by friends, as we often are: “Where’s new? Where should we try?”

In celebration of their first birthday, the crew have joined forces with Melle Branson, AKA Till Death: Perth photographer, filmmaker and all-around creative force.

“I’ve known Christopher Caravella for almost 15 years,” Melle tells us.

“Real heads would remember him as Boy Prince (big up Deadweight, big up Shape, big up Syrup). In 2019, I came to him with an idea to make a short doco about his family’s restaurant – the Fremantle institution the Capri, where at the time he’d worked all his life. He lived upstairs, and could often be seen perched on the window sill, gazing out at the terrace, ciggie in hand and TN’s on foot. An iconic scene.”

“The resulting film Like Coming Home was a pivotal, landmark moment in time for both Chris and I. From that point on, I knew that making films was exactly what I wanted to be doing, and Chris knew that there was a world outside waiting for him to spread his wings and fly. It was destiny. A few years later, Chris met his match in Frank, who shared a parallel immigrant family restaurant backstory, and the rest in the first year of Testun’s chronicle is history.” 

Testun Our Place Melle Branson

“What I love about Testun is their audacious attitude and approach to hospitality, and their bold, experimental approach to making good food , wines and cocktails. There’s substance and authenticity to what they say and do, whilst still staying true to their roots and heritage. This notion of moving through past, present and future really resonates with me personally, and my style of honest, no BS storytelling that I fastidiously aspire to.”

Testun Our Place Melle Branson

The result of this collaboration is a short film that’s as relentless as the restaurant’s flavours, a fever dream of Italo-Australian nostalgia and high-energy irreverence.

“Stylistically, I wanted to represent not just the tone and personality of the Testun brand, but to also depict Chris’s personal growth in his career. When we made Like Coming Home, he was in a place of deep introspection, pondering life’s big questions about the future in the poetic, philosophical way that he tends to do. Four years on, he’s a grown ass man now – he’s more sure of what he wants to be doing, and I couldn’t be prouder to have watched his journey from front row and centre.”

“I intentionally wanted to balance this story against Chris’ by introducing not just Frank’s family’s story, but the whole team at Testun. Along with Chris’s partner Martina, Frank’s wife Katia, Antonio and Marta – they’re equal parts a power sextuplet on the Perth hospo scene. They’re fun, young and dumb. A new kind of family. So naturally I chose to portray this in a comical, surreal and tongue in cheek way, with scenes that pull out the most ruckus of stops including an absurd homage to Fear and Loathing. I’m grateful to the whole Testun crew for trusting every single decision I threw at them, and couldn’t be happier that this piece turned out exactly how I had envisaged it from day one of Testun’s first year of existence.”

Testun Our Place Melle Branson

“I think a lot of WA brands are scared to push the boundaries of commercial documentary storytelling and their approach to creating content. To have Testun’s full stupid trust and bravery in giving me complete creative control from start to finish made this project what it is. I couldn’t have done this without my collaborators and the dedication of the whole crew. It was by far the funnest, rowdiest crew that I’ve ever had the pleasure of been on set with (with by far the best catering) thanks to my DP Tim Fitzgerald, my ride or die producer Maria Elena, Dan Spriggs the master of light, and my editing #1 Denzil Heeger – la film familia that I love working with, and from my heart to yours, I hope you enjoy watching and dining at Testun. Buon appetito!”

We highly encourage you to check out the video below:

Written & Directed by Melle Branson / @_tilldeath_
Producer Maria Elena Amatulli / @__mea_______
Cinematographer Tim Fitzgerald / @tim.s.fitzgerald
AD Ricky Perdec / @wesleyblacktv
1st AC Dan Stone Dan Stone / @cameramandan_ & Gareth Weston / @gareth_weston
Gaffer Dan Spriggs / @ronaldofinkle
Best Boy Nick Valentini / @nickyphresh97
Edited by Denzil Heeger / @denzilheeger
Title Design Gesture Systems / @gesturesystems
Sound Design & Mix Shaun Sandosham / @shaunflakes_
Stills Michael Tartaglia @michael_tartaglia & Jimbob @jimbobthehomie
BTS Videography Moon Creature / @mooncreature
Original Music by Eduoardo Moriconi 
Additional tracks licensed by Musicbed 

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