A few months ago in Cannes, he was surrounded by the “golden couple”, Brad Pitt (producer) and Angelina Jolie (leading lady) presenting his movie “A Mighty Heart”.
Between June and July, Michael Winterbottom shot his movie “Genova”, starring Colin Firth, Katherine Keener and Hope Davis in Genoa and the Liguria region (Camogli, Sestri Levante and Moneglia). The movie, which will be completed in the fall with a few days’ shooting in the United States, tells the story of an American family, a father, mother and two teenage daughters, who are struck by tragedy (the sudden loss of the mother).
The father, a professor, decides to leave his painful surroundings behind and travel to Genoa with his daughters.
Each daughter reacts differently to their loss and their new situation.
A young, very lightweight crew, shooting in HD, a team of experienced professionals who have already worked on other productions with Winterbottom.
Plus a dozen young technicians and professionals from the Liguria region.
“The true protagonist of this movie is the city of Genoa”, Michael Winterbottom has said.
“I discovered it years ago thanks to my friend and colleague Melissa Parmenter and immediately felt that I should make a movie there”.
The movie is mainly set in the Old City Center of the regional capital of Liguria, the Old Port and the small coastal town of Camogli.
Innovative production methods and rhythms were used, consistent with Winterbottom’s “non-invasive” philosophy with respect to the surrounding environments and territory: to give an idea, instead of a heavy goods vehicle the crew used just a couple of vans.
Their extremely flexible working methods required similar flexibility and adaptability from the local interface, the Film Commission.
“Working with the Genova-Liguria Film Commission was truly extraordinary”, adds Winterbottom, “and essential for optimum movie-making”.
The collaboration with the young Genoese and Ligurian people who worked on the project was also extremely positive.
“We created an extraordinary group”, says Melissa Parmenter, the film’s line producer, “unlike anything we have had anywhere before”.
The post-production of the movie will be completed by the end of the year and it should go on general release in spring 2008.
Cinema&Video International n. 10-11 October/November 2007