Source: Minerva Pictures


Italy’s Minerva Pictures has unveiled its Cannes Market slate which includes Ukrainian historical epic Dovbush as well as Italian family comedy And Suddenly it’s Christmas and Mexican thriller Black Minutes.

Dovbush is an action film directed by Oles Sanin about Oleksa Dovbush, a real-life 18th-century Robin Hood of sorts who formed a group of outlaws that robbed rich landowners in the Carpathian Mountains to give to poor Ukrainian villagers.

The film is set to be released in August after suffering substantial delays due to the Ukraine conflict. Potential buyers will be offered selective screening by Minerva at Cannes.

“The premiere was supposed to take place in May 2022,” producer Maxim Asadchiy of Pronto Film said. ”Work on finishing the film was still taking place in February 2022, but then the war then began and the premiere had to be cancelled.”

“To complete the film, we had to transport colour correction equipment from Kyiv to Lviv. It was still very dangerous in Kyiv then. Part of the work on VFX had to be transferred to Poland. And the guys finished part of the work in Dnipro and Mykolaiv in the breaks between shelling,” he added.

Also on Minerva’s Cannes list is And Suddenly it’s Christmas (Improvvisamente Natale) produced by Italy’s Notorious Productions. The family comedy is directed by Francesco Patierno and stars Diego Abatantuono and Sara Ciocca.

The feel-good feature tells the story of ten-year-old Chiara whose parents are separating. Her grandfather, who she rarely sees, is tasked with breaking the news of her parents’ divorce to her.

The company is also selling Mexican production Black Minutes (Los Minutos Negros) directed by Mario Muñoz. Set in the late 1970s in a corrupt town located in the Gulf of Mexico, it focuses on a group of young policemen who attempt to catch a serial killer.

The film was produced in 2021 but due to Covid-related release delays has only recently started to be distributed in Latin America where it has been acquired by Televisa-Univision streaming service VIX+.

The film won three prizes at last year Mexican Academy awards, the Ariels, and won the best narrative feature prize at the 29th San Diego Latino international film festival.

Also on Minerva’s Cannes slate is A Freaking Wedding (Un Matrimonio Monstruoso,) directed by Volfango De Biasi, starring Massimo Ghini, Paola Minaccioni, Ilaria Spada and Ricky Memphis. The sequel to Help! My In-Laws Are Vampires (Una Famiglia Mostruosa) follows in the wake of the original vampire-family comedy theme.

In addition, the company will be selling Italians Do it Better (Uomini da Marciapiede), an Italian comedy directed by Francesco Albanese set for a summer release. In it, a group of die-hard but penniless football fans decide to finance their attendance at the 2021 European Championship by working as gigolos for bored wives and girlfriends.