Once again the Italian presence at the Cannes Film Festival, held this year from 8th to 19th May, bears the Rai Cinema brand.
In competition for the Palmares are “Dogman”, an urban western starring Matteo Fonte, directed by Matteo Garrone, inspired by a crime news story from thirty years ago, and “Lazzaro felice”, a story about friendship in a possible world directed by Alice Rohrwacher starring Nicoletta Braschi, Sergi Lopez and Alba Rohracher; “Euforia” by Valeria Golino is in the Un Certain Regard section: this is the story of two brothers who find each other again after a long time and stars Valerio Mastandrea and Riccardo Scamarcio.
“They are three movies that all tell strong stories using different languages” Paolo Del Brocco, CEO of Rai Cinema tells Cinema & Video International with satisfaction.
The satisfaction is “because the Italian cinema system is back in competition at Cannes after an absence of two years”, and it is tinged with pride due to the recognition of the role played by the public service in Italian cinema. “Because” explains Del Brocco, “while our mission is to make movies for all audiences, it is also true that quality cinema is our trademark”.
“Festivals do a lot of good in terms of visibility and offer excellent support for theater releases”, adds the CEO of Rai Cinema, confirming that “Dogman” will be released on 17th May (with 01) and “Lazzaro Felice” immediately after Cannes, on 31st May.
“A great new feature” is that two out of the three movies in competition are directed by women: “an extraordinary thing” considering the male predominance of the directing profession. This is Alice Rohrwacher’s third work, and Valeria Golino’s second: “we have accompanied them during their growth process having also produced their previous works”.
Another new feature is that two out of the three movies are distributed around the world by Italian companies, reversing what had become the custom for movies presented at Cannes whose foreign sales were entrusted to non-Italian companies.
In fact, “Euforia”, a co-production with Indigo Film, is distributed by Italy’s True Colours and “Dogman” by Rai Com. “We have a great working relationship” with the Rai subsidiary “their commitment has increased, even economically: we will also be entrusting them with other important films”.
Finally we should mention that the opening movie at the Cannes Festival, “Todos lo saben” by Asghar Farhadi with Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem, is a co-production between Spain, France and Italy, in which Rai Cinema has a minority share.
This is another important aspect of the strategies of the company led by Paolo Del Brocco: the commitment not just to majority but also to minority international co-productions. “Getting a foot into the big European productions is also useful for other forms of collaboration”.
The Rai Cinema brand is also present in the Italian movies selected for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs.
These are “Troppa grazia”, the new comedy by Gianni Zanasi with Alba Rohrwacher and Elio Germano (co-produced with Pumpkin), “Samouni Road” by Stefano Savona featuring the animations of Simone Massi, co-produced with Picofilms, Dugong Films, and the short by Marco Bellocchio “La lotta”, co-produced with Kavac Film (the cast includes two young Italian actors, Fabrizio Falco and Barbara Ronchi, together with Ione Bertola).
Rai Cinema also participated in the short selected by Cinéfondation “Così in terra” by Pier Lorenzo Pisano, produced by the Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia. The cast includes Roberto Citran and Angelarosa Orsini.
Finally, with regard to the co-productions with Italian participation, in addition to the already mentioned movie by Farhadi, we should mention “In My Room” by Ulrich Köhler and the documentary by Wim Wenders, “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word”.
We should also point out that Marco Alessi, the producer of “Samouni Road”, has been selected from among the ten up-and-coming European producers in Producers On the Move, an historic European Film Promotion event.