RAI/The year of the Biopic

Last year it was the year of “War and peace” and “Caravaggio”: productions of this level and caliber should always be available.
«”War and peace,”» comments Milano, «had higher viewing figures than some other European productions.
Here in Italy, it was rather snubbed by the critics.
But the public liked it.
In the end it was viewed by around 30 million people in Europe.
But it isn’t easy to find subjects with the same appeal that will be similarly appreciated on a European level. We are looking for more”¦Â».


So, in terms of titles of international interest, in 2008 we will have to “make do” with “Coco Chanel”, played by Barbora Bobulova, “Einstein” directed by Liliana Cavani, starring Vincenzo Amato (“Nuovomondo”), “Vita di Puccini”, starring Alessio Boni, who has now become the absolute star of the biopic («He is one of the few movie stars who has no problems about working on television»), “La meravigliosa storia di Suor Bakhita” by Giacomo Campiotti, another biopic about the African nun who was made a saint by John Paul II, starring Stefania Rocca and Sonia Bergamasco and, finally, a project about Pope Paul VI.


Hot on the heels of its Berlin success, the mini-series version of Salvatore Mereu’s “Sonetà ula” will have its market premiere.

 There will be a mini-series version of Marco Tullio Giordana’s movie “Sangue pazzo”, with the miserable Fascist couple Ferida-Valenti played by Ferilli and Zingaretti.


Zingaretti will also be starring in another four new episodes of “Commissario Montalbano”: on 30th March, shooting began on TV movies based on “Vampa d’agosto”, “Le ali della Sfinge”, “Pista di sabbia” and “Luna di carta”.


«This makes a total of 18 movies.
A truly excellent result.
Montalbano is better than 007 as a long-running series”¦
Much-loved in Italy, where there seems to be no sign that the audience’s enthusiasm for this character is waning, with successful repeats and DVDs, and well received abroad, despite the objective difficulties of translation and dubbing».


In the meantime, a new collection of stories is being launched, focusing on the investigations of another literary detective, “Il commissario De Luca”, created by Carlo Lucarelli, played by Alessandro Preziosi and directed by Antonio Frazzi.


We then move on to more “domestic” series.
The titles announced and those in pre-production include the mini-series “La scuola” with Luciana Littizzetto, “Scusate il disturbo” with Lino Banfi, “Il bene e il male”, starring Liskova-Guaccero, the thriller “Mal’aria” set in the Comacchio valleys in the 30s, and a couple of historical-political biopics (“Enrico |Mattei”, “Di Vittorio”).


Rulli and Petraglia are finishing up the screenplay of “La casa”, a family saga narrating the last twenty years of Italian history: an attempt to follow in the footsteps of “La meglio gioventù” (it is no coincidence that it is also produced by Barbagallo).


On a different level, because it is part of a project aimed at reinterpreting and updating classic fairy tales, is “Pinocchio” by Alberto Sironi, which has a very lavish cast: Alessandro Gassman, Bob Hoskins, Luciana Littizzetto and Violante Placido.


Next it could be the turn of “Cinderella” (although nothing has been decided yet).


A 16 million Euro budget has been allocated in 2008 for animation, one of RaiFiction’s old favorites, of which Luca Milano, who personally follows all the productions, is very proud.
There is a new series for preschoolers, “Uffa che pazienza”, in co-production with Germany.
For primary and middle school children, the new titles include “Sandokan”, “Lulù di Montmartre”, “Piccolo Leonardo”, “Questers” and “Arturov e Kiwi”.
“Winx Club” Rainbow has a new title for boys called “Huntik”.
There will also be the long-awaited return of two great Italian cartoons with a series of 3 minute 3D episodes: Manuli (“Acqua in bocca”) and Bozzetto (reviving the historical “Minivipo e Supervip”).


The latest news for this season from RaiFiction is the return of Max Gusberti, the former deputy of the recently retired Saccà , who has now been appointed the director of drama’s “regent” by director general Cappon, who himself took over the structure in the interim period following Saccà ‘s exit.
He will be making his second debut at Cannes: not such a new an addition given his many years of experience at Viale Mazzini.
«After a couple of months of “vacatio”», says Milano, «we have appointed someone whose experience means that he represents a sign of continuity and competence, a person who perfectly understands the drama machine and its mechanisms».

Nella sezione: Focus on italy