EldaFerri, the Italian producer behind Gianni Amelio's likely Venice contender, TheKeys To The House, is lining up two new features by critically-acclaimeddirector Roberto Faenza.
Faenza,whose last film The Soul Keeper was a critical and box-office hit inItaly where it grossed over Euros 3.5m, is to shoot a new picture adapted fromElena Ferrante's novel I Giorni dell'Abbandono.
Thebest-selling novel focuses on a married mother-of-two whose husband suddenlyleaves her. The Euros 5m drama will start shooting this autumn for eight weeksin Turin and will star Margherita Buy. Medusa will distribute the film inItaly.
Faenzaalso recently finished shooting a feature about a real-life Palermo priest whowas killed by the Mafia in 1993.
The Euros3.8m film, whose working title is L'Uomo che Colorava i Sogni(literally, the Man Who Painted Dreams), is currently in post and wasshot in Palermo. It tells the story ofoutspoken priest Don Puglisi and his relationship with the under-priviledgedchildren he tried to keep out of the Mafia's reach. Luca Zingaretti plays thelead. Mikado will distribute in Italy.
Ferri'sRome-based company, Jean Vigo Italia, is also producing renowned Italiandirector Gianni Amelio's The Keys To The House, which stars CharlotteRampling and Italy's Kim Rossi Stuart. The film - Amelio's first since 1998's TheWay We Laughed - is tipped for a Venice slot.
Meanwhile Ferri, who produced Roberto Benigni's last twomovies, Pinocchio and the Oscar-winning Life Is Beautiful, is nowset to produce the Tuscan comic's next film, which is entitled The Tiger AndThe Snow and is due to start shooting at the end of the summer.
WhileBenigni is always reticent to talk about new projects, Jean Reno recentlyrevealed that he will play a role in the film, which will also star Benigni'swife, Nicoletta Braschi. Also expected to be on board are Benigni's regularcollaborators, writer Vincenzo Cerami and composer Nicola Piovani.
Benigni'sproduction company Melampo Cinematografica will release a statement later thismonth with details about the film.