“Dafne”, the second work by Federico Bondi, will be presented at the Berlinale, in the Panorama section, on February 10th. The movie, produced by Vivo Film and Rai Cinema, with the support of MIBAC (the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and the Toscana Film Commission as part of the Sensi Contemporanei Toscana Program for Cinema, stars Dafne, a young woman with Down syndrome who suddenly finds herself having to cope with her mother’s death and the depression that this event causes in her father.
“It is a surprising movie” says Gregorio Paonessa, who runs Vivo Film together with Marta Donzelli “which takes an honest, blame-free look at disability in general, a story that makes you both laugh and cry”.
This is due to the radiance of the protagonist, Carolina Raspanti (Dafne) who Federico Bondi defines as “a force of nature I immediately fell in love with and with whom a friendship was born which was crucial for drafting the screenplay”.
A screenplay which the protagonist never actually read: “I’d give her the lines just before we started shooting the scenes, from day to day, and she learned them straight away because she has an excellent memory. I also left a lot of space for improvisation. The reality was the inspiration and method for everything, the witty remarks, the figures of speech, the tones of voice.”
This search for authenticity also affected the decision not to follow the chronological order of the story during the filming: “We started from the second part of the movie set in the Mugello area in the winter: it is here that Dafne attempts to rouse her father, getting him involved in a trekking expedition to her mother’s home town. And this walk allowed the two actors (Carolina Raspanti and Antonio Piovanelli) to get to know each other better and to subsequently face, with more intensity, the first part of the story which was filmed in the summer in Grosseto, at the seaside, where the mother dies at the beginning of the film.”
Despite the fact that the setting has no particular geographical connotations as it is meant to depict a provincial town that could be anywhere, “Dafne” definitely represents a regional excellence since it was one of the projects that the Toscana Film Commission presented as part of the Opportunity Tour: la Rai incontra i territori -Rai meets the regions, the initiative that the Italian Film Commissions launched together with Rai Fiction, Rai Cinema, Rai Cultura and Rai Com to create opportunities for producers and filmmakers from the various Italian regions to meet with Rai representatives.
“It was one of the very few projects that Rai Cinema selected and undertook to produce”, explains Paonessa. With a contribution that was added to those from the Film Commission, from the MIBAC, the support provided by the Regione Lazio and Unicoop Firenze and the patronage of the AIPD –Associazione Italiana Persone Down-Italian Association of People with Down Syndrome and the Comitato Siblings Onlus –Fratelli e sorelle di persone con disabilità-Committee of Siblings of people with disabilities.
The worldwide sales of “Dafne” are handled by RaiCom.