Who does the Italian industry believe are the country’s most exciting new Italian actors, directors and writers? Profiles by Sheri Jennings

Vinicio Marchioni (Actor)

Marchioni has attracted attention for roles in 2010’s Iraq-set film 20 Cigarettes and the Cattleya-produced TV mini-series Crime Novel, a spin-off of its feature film of the same name. Cattleya producer Francesca Longardi describes Marchioni as “a powerful actor with a strong theatre background, a real discovery”. He is now working on two further directorial debuts: Francesco Bruni’s Scialla, where Marchioni stars with Fabrizio Bentivoglio as a restless young man who finally meets his long-lost father, and Emiliano Corapi’sSulla Strada Di Casa, a drama about a family’s attempt’s to save their troubled business. 

Website: www.officineartistiche.com

Contact: officinearti@tiscali.it; (39) 06 97605778

Nicola Nocella (Actor)

Nocella’s striking physical presence prompts Adriano De Santis, director of the prestigious film school Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia (CSC), to liken him to an Italian John Belushi. The CSC-trained Nocella received Italy’s Silver Ribbon (voted by Italian film journalists) for best emerging actor for his 2010 debut in Pupi Avati’s The Youngest Son. He has since been cast in Toni Trupia’s upcoming project about Italian emigration, provisionally called Itaker, co-starring Michele Placido.

Website: www.servicecastartistico.it

Contact: (39) 06 72294235

Sarah Felberbaum (Actor)

This model-turned-actress of dual UK-US nationality has been forging an Italy-based career which has propelled her to the forefront of the territory’s actresses. She stars opposite Toni Servillo in Andrea Molaioli’s critical hit, the thriller The Little Gem, and appeared in Carlo Vanzina’s well-received Ti Presento Un Amico. Felberbaum is now on Italian screens in Fausto Brizzi’s comedy blockbuster Men Vs Women and is shooting Il Giovane Montalbano, the feature prequel to Rai’s popular detective TV series Il Comissario Montalbano. Felberbaum stars as the female lead.

Website: www.fiorellagiannelli.it

Contact: info@fiorellagiannelli.it; (39) 06 5895204

Daniela Virgilio (Actor)

Fresh out of the CSC, Virgilio snagged prestigious roles in Medusa’s current hit Immaturi and Carlo Vanzina’s Ti Presento Un Amico, CSC director Adriano De Santis describes her as “very beautiful and very current”. Virgilio is now on stage in Simone Perinelli’s direction of Albert Camus’ Caligula, in Rome’s Teatro Tor Di Nona, and is lined-up to star in a small indie feature called Hysteria.

Website: www.officineartistiche.com

Contact: officinearti@tiscali.it; (39) 06 97605778

Carolina Crescentini (Actor)

Since her debut in Fausto Brizzi’s Night Before Finals in 2007, Crescentini has earned a reputation as a well-liked, busy actress. “She has everything,” says Cattleya producer Francesca Longardi. “She is very good in comedy and is intense and believable in drama.” Crescentini has since wrapped roles in Giuliano Montaldo’s L’Industriale in which she portrays the wife of an industry magnate played by Pierfrancesco Favino, for Bibi Films, and Marco Ponti’s I Love You Too Much To Say, about a couple about to get married who hit a rough patch. Francesco Scianna and Jasmine Trinca co-star.

Website: www.stefanochiappimanagement.com 

Contact: (39) 06 97603993

Stefano Sollima (Director)

An established TV director, Sollima [pictured] has got the greenlight for his feature debut, A.C.A.B. — All Cops Are Bastards, a police thriller being produced by Cattleya. In prep stage, the producers believe he is one of the strongest natural talents they have seen in years.

Contact: agenzia@cristianocucchinimanagement.com; (39) 06 36094323

Edoardo De Angelis (Director)

De Angelis’ directorial debut Mozzarella Stories, which he co-wrote, is a gangster comedy. Now in post, the project is a co-production between the CSC (which occasionally co-produces its graduates’ early projects), Bavaria Media Italia and Eagle Pictures. Emir Kusturica is executive producing. Eagle will distribute in Italy in 2011 and Bavaria Film International has international rights.

Website: www.bavaria-film-international.de

Contact: bavaria.international@bavaria-film.de; (49) 89 6499 3506

Pippo Mezzapesa (Director)

Mezzapesa is working on his feature debut Veleno for Fandango and Rai Cinema. The Puglia-set project is about a group of friends growing up in the 1980s. Casting is yet to be announced.

Website: www.fandango.it

Contact: (39) 06 852185

Serena Cervoni and Mariano Di Nardo (Writers)

This screenwriting duo won Italy’s top screenwriting award, the Premio Solinas in 2010 with L’Uomo Sulla Strada. The jury was impressed by the “agility with which they present the dramatic structure” and “the force of their compact story”. Producer Mario Gianani of Offside Films has optioned the script — a drama about a young woman who unwittingly falls in love with the man who caused her father’s death.

Website: www.premiosolinas.it

Contact: info@premiosolinas.it; (39) 06 578 0019

Daniela Gambaro (Writer)

CSC graduate Gambaro is fast becoming a go-to screenwriter for Italian directors. She has written for Claudio Cupellini and Francesco Amato, and is working on Cosimo And Nicole, a road movie about a young couple, for Amato.

Contact: info@studioantonangeli.it; (39) 06 8553287