From the “calendar of international market releases” with which MEDIA Salles documents Italian movie exports, it appears that not many movies can count on a wealth of distributors abroad even before being released at home. One fortunate exception is Rosso come il cielo. Following its first weekend on big screens in Italy, where it was seen by a promising 3,000 film-goers in 14 different movie theaters, and some very enthusiastic comments, we talked to director and producer, Cristiano Bortone about his film.
What made distributors from markets both inside and outside Europe, such as Hungary, Slovenia, Switzerland, Sweden, Norway and Finland, as well as Colombia, Brazil, Taiwan and Hong Kong, believe in this film?
“Rosso come il cielo is an arthouse movie that manages to combine quality and serious themes with an ability to speak to the public at large. It succeeds because it is a movie rich in feelings and poetry which offers viewers some very intense emotions”.
Could it be said that Rosso come il cielo is one of those movies perceived by the public as an expression of modern Italian cinema?
“It think there are two types of movie that we can take abroad: those in which the viewer recognizes his or her interior image of Italy “” I am thinking here of a high level example such as “Respiro”, which was extraordinarily successful in France “” and those which focus on themes and messages that touch everybody. Rosso come il cielo, which is about a child who successfully fights for integration and for recognition of his talent, fits into the latter category”.
What helped you achieve this international dimension?
“I took advantage of the opportunities offered by the MEDIA Program by attending, for example, the “European Films Crossing Borders” course. I have also found that the openings offered by the ACE with regard to product development through a detailed analysis of the screenplay and financial/marketing plan, as well as the European Producers’ Club, are extremely important for making contact with colleagues and possible partners”.
This choice has also resulted in a number of co-productions, including Saimir. What are your plans for the future?
“I already have a new project which was developed as part of the MEDIA Program, with ACE. It is called Cuore nero and will be produced by Orisa, my own company, with two European partners. It will be shot in South Africa, a country with which Italy has a co-production agreement and which provides the perfect backdrop for scenes based on the diaries of a mercenary turned eco-terrorist in Kenya. We will be filming in English: the language, as well as the production framework and the story-line, are all very important elements for international markets.”