bad tales

Source: Pepito Produzioni/Amka Film Production

‘Bad Tales’

Italian productions are well represented in this year’s festival, while the market has the latest titles from Gianni Amelio and Paolo Genovese. 


Bad Tales

Dirs. Damiano D’Innocenzo, Fabio D’Innocenzo
The Italian twin D’Innocenzo brothers return to Berlin two years after their feature debut Boys Cry premiered in Panorama — this time in the main Competition. The self-taught pair’s new drama is set in a seemingly idyllic Rome suburb that drifts towards tragedy over the course of one summer. The ensemble cast includes Elio Germano and Barbara Chichiarelli (Suburra: Blood On Rome) and the Italy-Switzerland co-production is backed by Rome-based Pepito Produzioni, in co-production with Rai Cinema, QMI and Switzerland’s Amka Films. Contact: The Match Factory 


Dir. Valentina Pedicini
Pedicini’s second documentary after 2013’s From The Depth investigates the motivations that pushed members of an Italian sect to live isolated in a monastery, practising martial arts. Produced by Stemal Entertainment (Fire At Sea) together with Rai Cinema, the film plays in Critics’ Week. Contact: Fandango 

Hidden Away

Dir. Giorgio Diritti
Diritti, who moves back and forth between fiction and documentary, premiered his last narrative feature There Will Come A Day at Sundance in 2013. Berlin Competition title Hidden Away tells the story of early 20th-century Switzerland-born artist Antonio Ligabue, best known for his paintings of wild animals, who lived a lonely and often-mocked life by Italy’s River Po. Elio Germano, who is also in the D’Innocenzo brothers’ Competition entry Bad Tales, stars as Ligabue. Palomar (Berlinale 2019 entry Piranhas) produces in collaboration with Rai Cinema. Contact: Cristina Cavaliere, Rai Com

The House Of Love

Dir. Luca Ferri
Ferri’s fourth documentary follows Bianca, a transsexual sex worker who lives in Milan. Set in her apartment, the days are punctuated by visits from clients, while Bianca longs for her partner Natasha, a transwoman living in Brazil. The House Of Love bows in Forum and is produced by Effendemfilm, Lab 80, Enece Film, Start and Prima Luce. Contact: Effendem Film  

Ordinary Justice

Dir. Chiara Bellosi
Carlo Cresto-Dina’s Tempesta Film (Happy As Lazzaro) together with Cinedokke (The Guest) and Rai Cinema produce the feature debut of Bellosi, a drama about an ordinary day at the courthouse where a petrol-station manager is on trial for shooting and killing a robber. Daphne Scoccia (Fiore) stars in the film, which premieres in Generation. Contact: Vision Distribution 


Dir. Abel Ferrara
Following a Cannes special screening launch for Tommaso last May, the veteran US director is back in Berlin’s Competition with his latest drama, an Italy-Mexico-Germany co-production. Frequent Ferrara collaborator Willem Dafoe stars as a man who has retreated to a remote, wintry mountain cabin in order to seek serenity; he then begins a journey by dog sled to the world he once knew. Marta Donzelli and Gregorio Paonessa for Italy’s Vivo Film produce alongside Philipp Kreuzer and Jörg Schulze for Germany’s Maze Pictures, Julio Chavezmontes for Mexico’s Piano, Faliro House, Rimsky Productions and Rai Cinema. Contact: The Match Factory 

Sow The Wind

Dir. Danilo Caputo
Italian director Caputo premiered at Karlovy Vary in 2014 with his debut feature Late Season. Premiering in Panorama, his follow-up Sow The Wind (Semina Il Vento) follows 21-year-old Nica, who drops out of university to return to her family’s devastated olive farm in Puglia, southern Italy, and finds herself battling her indebted father to save the ancient trees and maintain family traditions. France’s JBA Production, Italy’s Okta Film and Greece’s Graal Films produce with Rai Cinema. Contact: Pyramide International 

Zeus Machine. The Invincible

Dirs. David Zamagni, Nadia Ranocchi
Screening in Forum, the Zapruder collective’s feature debut tells the story of Hercules through 12 vignettes at petrol stations and roundabouts, in sports halls, sculpture storerooms and at music festivals, using humour and tenderness and experimenting with different forms. Zamagni and Ranocchi also produce. Contact Zapruder Film


The Best Years

Dir. Gabriele Muccino
Muccino’s 12th feature spans 40 years of recent Italian history, seen through the eyes of three childhood friends, and the girl they all fall for at one point in their lives. Pierfrancesco Favino, Claudio Santamaria, Kim Rossi Stuart and Micaela Ramazzotti co-star. The film, which opened in Italy on February 13, grossed $4m for 01 Distribution in its first week on release. It market premieres at the EFM. Contact: Elle Driver 

Bitter Years

Dir. Andrea Adriatico
This biopic retraces the life of Mario Mieli, one of the founders of the Italian gay liberation movement of the 1970s. L’Altra Cinemare and Pavarotti International 23 produce with Rai Cinema. Lorenzo Balducci stars as Mieli. Contact: The Open Reel

Golden Men

Dir. Vincenzo Alfieri
Alfieri’s heist comedy is inspired by a true story of three ordinary men who worked for the postal service and robbed their own armoured truck. Events take a dark turn as they struggle to deal with the consequences of the robbery. Edoardo Leo (Perfect Strangers), Giampaolo Morelli (Love And Bullets) and Fabio De Luigi (Put Grandma In The Freezer) star in Alfieri’s second film, which is produced by Italian International Film (IIF) and Lucisano Media Group together with Rai Cinema. Contact: Marco Valerio Fusco, Intramovies  

Guests In The Villa

Dir. Ivano De Matteo
A bourgeois family in northern Italy accidentally shoots a Romanian boy who has broken into their home to visit their daughter. The subsequent involvement of a priest, a doctor and a policeman trigger hypocrisies and the persecution of the boy’s mother. It is an Italy-France co-production from Rodeo Drive, Les Films d’Ici (Fire At Sea) and Rai Cinema. Contact: Francesca Breccia, Coccinelle Film 


Dir. Gianni Amelio
After grossing $5.4m (€5m) at the Italian box office, Minerva Pictures kicks off sales on Amelio’s latest film starring Pierfrancesco Favino (The Traitor) as 1980s Italian politician Bettino Craxi, the country’s first socialist prime minister, who was later indicted in a corruption scandal. Pepito Produzioni and Minerva Pictures produce with Rai Cinema. Contact: Minerva Pictures 

Opera Mundi

Dir. Paolo Fiore Angelini
The return of a space probe sent 11 years earlier triggers strange reactions back on Earth, as explored through theatre and relationships. This is the second film from Angelini after Paris, Dabar and is produced by Avocado Pictures, ABC Arte Bologna Cultura, Oblivion Production and Icaro like-us. Contact: Vincenzo Mosca, TVCO 


Dir. Paolo Genovese
The latest film by Genovese (Perfect Strangers, The Place) is a comedy drama about a couple and the effect that time has on their relationship. Jasmine Trinca and Alessandro Borghi star. Produced by the Leone Film Group arm Lotus Production and Medusa Film. Contact: Gaetano Maiorino, True Colours