direttore Paolo Di Maira

EMMY KIDS AWARD/The light of Apulia

With “Braccialetti Rossi” this year even Italy has been nominated for the Emmy Kids Awards, the biggest entertainment awards dedicated to the youngest set which will be held on 5 April at Miptv in Cannes.
“Braccialetti Rossi”, the TV series directed by Giacomo Campiotti and produced by Palomar for Rai Uno, the remake of the Catalan “Polseres Vermelles”, has been selected for the “Series” category.
The series, inspired by the autobiographical book of the same name by Spanish writer Albert Espinosa, follows the stories of a group of children who are in hospital for various reasons, and become friends. Palomar was the first to believe in “Braccialetti Rossi” and decided to bring it to Italy, together with Rai, at a time when the Catalan format was only famous in Spain.

The first along with Steven Spielberg, to tell the truth, as the director general of Palomar, Nicola Serra, reveals to Cinema &Video International.
Carlo (Ed: Degli Esposti, founder and president of Palomar) and I were in Spain for another reason and we had to meet our Spanish partner Big Bang Media. They asked us to have a look at an episode of this new format: we immediately decided to extend our stay by one day because we wanted to get it at any cost. The crazy thing is that at the very same time Spielberg’s company was concluding an agreement for the global rights to the series, so we were only able to grab the rights for Italy in a “photo-finish” ending. Nonetheless we were the first to make the series: the first season came out in the US as “Red Band Society” while we were already filming the second season, but it didn’t go down too well there and has actually been cancelled despite the Oscar-winning cast (actress Octavia Spencer – Oscar for best supporting actress in “Help”)”.

However the success of “Braccialetti Rossi” in Italy entered into a crescendo: “To beat Spielberg for once with a kids’ product is a great result, he knows something about kids!” jokes Serra, although he emphasizes that the satisfaction for the nomination is mainly linked to the fact that what has been nominated is a product “that presents positive values but that also touches on difficult and painful subjects, like death and illness amongst youngsters”.
“The Emmy nomination is also recognition of this aspect, as well as the Italian trademark”, continues Serra.
But to what can this success be attributed?
“Firstly the great importance we give to the writing”, explains Serra. “The first series borrowed a lot from the Spanish version, we introduced many new elements in the second series also thanks to Campiotti and Sandro Petraglia, whereas the third series is nearly all original work. Another decisive factor is the sharing of the values the series presents, and thus the passion we have put into every detail, into every mile along the road we have travelled together, especially with Rai, that had the great courage to believe in this project and to choose it for the prime time slot on Rai Uno. Then there is Campiotti’s excellent direction. He has managed to translate all of this into images, directing the exemplary cast of kids (originally six, now twelve), who have worked with great maturity and sensitivity, which is no given at their tender ages”.

The central location for “Braccialetti Rossi” is the hospital where the kids are being treated which has been entirely reconstructed inside the CIASU (Centro Internazionale Alti Studi) in Fasano, in Apulia. “We chose Apulia also thanks to the Apulia Film Commission that took us to this center in Fasano, the inside of which is perfect for the type of scenes we need to film, and outside there is this rather magical environment with age-old olive trees and views of the sea, a location which has become a distinctive feature of the series.
In “Braccialetti Rossi” there is a strong component of realism as well as emotion, there are tough elements that deal with death and disease and the story does not hold anything back although it has a positive tone which faces towards the light…And the light in this place, especially at sunset and dawn, is truly spectacular. The series was filmed all over Apulia: mainly on the northern coast, around Bari, Monopoli, Polignano a Mare, as well as Salento and the Tremiti Islands”.

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