Gomorrah, Matteo Garrone's Cannes Grand Prix winner, will represent Italy in the Foreign Language Oscar race, the film's producer Domenico Procacci announced during a press conference in Rome today.
The film is an original and unglamorous look at the Naples crime organization known as Camorra.
'I am particularly happy that the film was selected unanimously,' Procacci said of the selection. Gomorrah was up against, among other films, Paolo Sorrentino's Cannes Jury Prize winner Il Divo.
While the Mafia has been explored in several important features, critics have lauded Garrone's picture as a return to Italy's neo-realistic roots in filmmaking. In fact, Garrone's film features many actual residents from the Naples neighborhoods Scampia and Secondigliano where the filming took place and where he said he encountered 'war zone dynamics.'
Gomorrah's success is partly due to the eponymous, best-selling book by journalist Roberto Saviano who worked on the screenplay adaptation and who lives under police protection after receiving death threats from the Camorra. The book has been translated into over 40 languages. At the local box office, Gomorrah has had a strong run earning more than Euros 10m to date.
Gomorrah is produced by Procacci's Fandango with Rai Cinema and has been released in some European territories like Germany, France and Austria and will be released in the UK this autumn. Gomorrah will likely seea USrelease via IFC, most likely January 2009, Procacci confirmed.
The selected Foreign Language Oscar candidates will be announced January 22 in Los Angeles.