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Diaz recounts harsh lesson

Producer Domenico Procacci discusses Panorama Special entry Diaz Don’t Clean Up This Blood which will strike a chord in Berlin.

Daniele Vicari’s (Maximum Velocity - V Max) Berlinale Special entry Diaz Don’t Clean Up This Blood is one of this year’s more emotive titles. The film charts the brutal raid by Italian riot police on a group of protesters sleeping in a school during the Genoa G8 summit in 2001, an act which has so far gone largely unpunished.

“We were sure that no one would pay for what happened in Genoa,” says Fandango producer Domenico Procacci. “In Italy we have a habit of forgetting acts like these. What happened was too important to forget but hopefully this film will remind people.That was the project’s starting point.”

The multi-language film was shot mostly in Bucharest, Genoa and in Italy’s Alpine Alto Adige region and is a co-production between Fandango, Le Pacte and Romania’s Mandragora. The international cast includes Jennifer Ulrich, Emilie de Preissac and Monica Barladeanu, alongside Elio Germano and Cladio Santamaria.

In Romania, the production rebuilt the fateful Diaz school and surrounding streets. “There were two reasons we wanted to shoot in Romania”, recalls Procacci. “We wanted to work without interference and in peace [Italian press attention surrounding the film was rampant, and the Italian police made life difficult for the production] and also because one of my co-producers is previous collaborator Bobby Paunescu of Mondragora Movies.”

Procacci highlights the importance of premiering the film in Germany: “Berlin is the perfect festival for this film, not only because Berlin often gives exposure to political subjects, but also because so many German people were involved in Diaz. Around 40 of the 93 people in the Diaz school that night were Germans.”

The trials surrounding Diaz are ongoing and prosecutors now face a race to achieve convictions before Italian law can close the case due to a legal expiration loophole. “This film is about keeping the subject alive,” says Procacci.

Fandango Portobello handles sales, Fandango regular collaborator Le Pacte distributes in France and Fandango in Italy.

Fandango’s sales slate also includes Gomorrah director Matteo Garone’s dark-comedy Big House (working title), currently in post, and Ferzan Ozpetek’s comic ghost story Magnifica Presenza, starring Margherita Buy and Elio Germano, also in post.

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