Two new Italian films set to shoot this spring -- The Man Who Loves and Seeds Of Discontent - have both pulled together strong casts.

Principal photography of The Man who Loves (L'uomo che ama), directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi, will begin February 25 in and around Turin.

The film features Pierfrancesco Favino in a role that highlights a man's reaction to a break up from a woman he loves. Favino recently starred in Crime Novel, Spike Lee's forthcoming Miracle At St. Anna and the next Narnia film, Prince Caspian.

The cast also includes Monica Bellucci who plays an arts foundation worker and Ukranian actress Kseniya Rappoport (The Unknown) as a hotel manager.

Donatella Botti is producing for Bianca Film with Medusa, which will also handle distribution.

A second project - which kicks off principal photography April 7 - is Seeds of Discontent (Il Seme della discordia) which the director, Pappi Corsicato, describes as a lighthearted and ironic look at abortion, infertility and sterility.

That film will feature Italy's Casino Royale Bond girl Caterina Murino and actor Alessandro Gassman.

Gassman currently stars with Nanni Moretti in Berlinale competitor Quiet Chaos.

In Seeds of Discontent, Murino's character discovers she is pregnant just as her husband (Gassman) discovers he is sterile. The film will ponder over who the father of the child could be with comedy, says Corsicato.

But the picture will also confront the matter of abortion as a choice for couples that have decided not to have children, and find themselves as prospective parents.

Seeds of Discontent is also coming at a time when the abortion question is being re-opened by some candidates running in Italy's upcoming elections this April and when women's groups are protesting to protect that right.

Corsicato says his film is 'loosely inspired' by a late 1800' novel by Heinrich von Kleist used by Eric Rohmer for his 1976 film The Marquise of O. Corsicato, however, says Seeds of Discontent will be contemporary and set in Naples.

The film has obtained support from the Italian culture ministry, with a $3.36 million (Euros 2.3m) budget - and is to be produced by Rodeo Drive with Medusa, which will also distribute..