New projects from Nanni Moretti, Paolo Sorrentino, Emanuele Crialese and Gabriele Salvatores are putting Italian film-making on course for a stellar year.
We Have A Pope
Dir: Nanni Moretti
Moretti won the Palme d’Or in 2001 for The Son’s Room and should be back at Cannes this year with this blackly comic look at a Pope, played by Michel Piccoli, who reluctantly takes up religious office. Moretti co-stars as the psychiatrist he turns to for help. The $12m Fandango production also features Margherita Buy, Jerzy Stuhr and Franco Graziosi.
Int’l sales: Wild Bunch
This Must Be The Place
Dir: Paolo Sorrentino
The $28m English-language debut of the director of The Consequences Of Love and Il Divo stars Sean Penn as an ageing rock star on the hunt for the Nazi who killed his father. Frances McDormand and David Byrne co-star. Produced by Indigo Films and Lucky Red, the film is in post in Rome after shooting in the US, Ireland and Italy.
Int’l sales: Pathé International
Contact: (44) 207 323 5151
With A Foot Stuck In History
Dir: Anna Negri
Fandango is developing the second feature from the director of Good Morning Heartache, which was well-received at Sundance in 2008. With A Foot Stuck In History is a coming-of-age story recounting Negri’s personal memories as the teenage daughter of two political activists during the 1980s.
Contact: Fandango - (39) 06852185
Sex In 3D
Dir: Fausto Brizzi
From his debut Night Before Finals, to Women Vs Men, now on release, and the upcoming romantic comedy Ex, Brizzi’s films have performed well at the local box office and sold briskly abroad. He is now in pre-production on Sex In 3D, an $11m sex comedy to be shot in 3D. It is produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Mieli’s nascent outfit Wildside.
Contact: Wildside - (39) 06 4543 7597
Dir: Emanuele Crialese
The director of Respiro and Golden Door tackles head-on the immigration crisis exploding on the tiny Sicilian island of Linosa,exploring how the island’s inhabitants deal with the huge influx of African incomers. Produced by Cattleya and now in post.
Contact: Cattleya - (39) 06 367201
Dir: Dario Argento
Rutger Hauer is set to star in this film from the cult horror director, which is in pre-production in Budapest.Dracula 3D is a co-production between FilmExport Group’s Multimedia Film Productions, France’s Les Films de l’Astre and Spain’s Enrique Cerezo.
Int’l sales: FilmExport Group
Contact: (39) 06 52207432
Dir: Giuseppe Gagliardi
Minerva Films is producing this project based on the book by Gomorrah author Roberto Saviano about a champion boxer who grew up in Camorra country and literally fought his way out. It is the second feature from Giuseppe Gagliardi, whose debut was the mockumentary The True Legend Of Tony Vilar. The film stars Clemente Russo, as himself, with Rade Serbedzija and well-known local actor Giorgio Colangeli.
Int’l sales: Minerva Pictures Group
Contact: (39) 06 84242430
Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You
Dir: Roberto Faenza
Shot in New York City with Four of a Kind Films as an Italian-US co-production, this English-language family drama stars Marcia Gay Harden, Ellen Burstyn, Toby Regbo and Lucy Liu. Produced by Jean Vigo Italia with backing from Rai Cinema.
Contact: Four of a Kind Films - www.foakproductions.com
Dir: Daniele Vicari
Vicari, best known for The Past Is A Foreign Land, is putting together this drama which takes its name from a school where unarmed protesters and the media were attacked by riot police while sleeping during the 2001 G8 Summit in Turin. Fandango is producing.
Contact: Fandango - (39) 06 852185
Dir: Marco Pontecorvo
Pontecorvo’s debut feature Pa-Ra-Da, the true story of a Franco-Algerian clown who set up a circus for Bucharest’s street children, made waves on the festival circuit and took the Mar Del Plata audience award in 2008. Now in pre-production, Rebelot is a dark comedy about two cash-strapped friends who strike (black) gold when they discover oil in their garden.
Contact: Panorama Films - (39) 06 37518606
Dir: Gabriele Salvatores
Salvatores is in pre-production on this English-language project, which is described as a harrowing expose of the Siberian criminal underworld. Based on an acclaimed book by Nicolai Lilin, which has been adapted by Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia, Siberian Education is being produced by Cattleya with Universal Pictures Italia. Shooting gets under way in Lithuania and Italy in August 2011, with casting yet to be announced.
Contact: Cattleya - (39) 06 367201