SARDINIA/FROM BOOKS TO THE SCREEN
Filming will recommence in September in Cagliari and neighboring areas, on “Accabadora”, by Enrico Pau which, after filming for a week in May, has been scouting for locations over the summer. The movie, produced by Film Kairos and Mammoth Film, is set in Cagliari during the bombing raids of ’43 and, due to its historical value, has been judged to be a work of cultural interest by the MIBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) (which has made a financial contribution along with the Regional Government of Sardinia). The cast includes Donatella Finocchiaro and Barry Ward.
Also in Cagliari, filming began mid-August on “Purgatorio”, the second chapter of the trilogy by the Abruzzi-born director transferred to the Netherlands, Stefano Odoardi (the first chapter “Mancanza-Inferno” was filmed entirely in L’Aquila) Production by Renè Goossens.
“La stoffa dei sogni”, the film directed by Gianfranco Cabiddu and produced by Paco Cinematografica was filmed in Asinara in July. Cabiddu, inspired by Eduardo de Filippo’s Arte della commedia and his adaptaion of The Tempest by William Shakespeare, tells the story of a group of actors and some dangerous members of the Camorra who are ship- wrecked on an island in the middle of the Mediterranean. This is not just any island but the prison island of Asinara which, today, is a regular movie set capable of hosting an entire crew, thanks to the joint efforts of the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission and the Conservatorie delle Coste, the Municipality of Portotorres, the Ente Parco dell’Asinara [Asinara Park Authority] and the Ente Foreste della Sardegna [Forest Authority of Sardinia], which have carried out valuable reclamation work on the landscape and renovated the former prison buildings.
Produced by Francesco Paolo Montini for Movie Factory with the support of the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission and the Autonomous Regional Government of Sardinia, “La stoffa dei sogni” has benefitted from the Sardinia Hospitality Fund.
Since last July Sardinia has a new Fund :“Filming in Cagliari”. With 128,000 Euros in 2014 destined for narrative feature length productions and shorts, through the partial reimbursement of the expenses sustained in the territory of Cagliari, the Fund aims to support theatrical and audiovisual productions operating within the city area and to offer local professionals new opportunities for employment. It will operate concurrently with the other funds of the Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission and the Municipality of Cagliari.
Finally, we should mention “Perfidia” by the young Sardinian filmmaker Bonifacio Angius, the only Italian in competition at the 67th edition of the Locarno Film Festival. The movie, filmed entirely in Sassari, revolves around the complicated relationship between a father and his son.
ALTO ADIGE/EXTREME LIVES
Filming has just started in Alto Adige on “Max and Hélène”, a TV project produced by Italy’s 11 Marzo Film and directed by Giacomo Battiato, which will film for four weeks in Merano and Bolzano. The TV drama, which will star Carolina Crescentini and Alessandro Avarone, is freely based on the novel “Max und Helen” by Simon Wiesenthal, inspired by a true story set in Cracow in 1960. Max Sereni, a Jew who has just been released from a gulag, passes himself off as a former SS officer on the run in order to look for Thomas Koeller ,the war criminal who tortured and killed his wife Hélène. But once he finds Koeller, Max discovers the truth about what happened to his wife and is forced to choose between vendetta, justice and compassion. The project obtained funding of 340,000 Euros from the BLS.
In July, Bolzano and Brunico provided the sets for “Point Break 2” the remake of the 1991 cult movie starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze, directed by Kathrin Bigelow. The remake, filmed mainly in Val D’Aosta, is directed by Ericson Core. Actor Luke Bracey plays the young undercover FBI agent, Johnny Utah (the role formerly played by Reeves), who joins a group of extreme sports fans under cover in order to unmask a band of robbers. The group is led by Bodhi, the character played by Swayze which, this time, has been entrusted to Édgar Ramírez. “Point Break 2” is an Alcon Entertainment, DMG Entertainment and Warner Bros production, whilst the Italian executive production is by Eagle Pictures
TUSCANY/CLOONEY IN THE LAND OF MYSTERIES
“Universale – Io mi fermo qui”, directed by Federico Micali, who also wrote the screenplay along with Heidrun Scheleef and Cosimo Calamini, will be filmed in Florence and a number of small Tuscan towns in September. The film is set in 1970s Florence and tells the story of three friends through the vehicle of the “glorious” Universale cinema, a reference point in the 70s/80s where the experimental and political culture of the student movement met the disenchanted popular movement of the Florentine district of San Frediano.
Produced by L’Occhio e La Luna, the movie received financing from the MIBACT (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and the Regional Government of Tuscany. In order to complete the budget a crowdfunding campaign was set up on the Limoney platform (www. limoney.it), a new start up initiated between Florence, Amsterdam and Milan, by two young Florentines.
Also in September, Villa San Felice at Arcetri will be the main location of the movie directed by Ugo Frosi, “L’ospite”, produced by Movie Factory srl, about the final period of the life of the Italian philosopher, Giovanni Gentile, who Mussolini appointed president of the Accademia d’Italia in Florence, and his involvement in a national pacification process that angered both the Fascists and the members of the Resistance.
After first stopping off in Sicily, Rolando Colla will bring “7 Days” to Tuscany, an Italian-Swiss co-production by Peacock Film and Tuscan producer Emanuele Nespeca’s Solaria Film. This movie, along with “L’ospite”, has benefited from the Regional Government of Tuscany’s Cinema Fund.
It has been an important summer for Tuscan sets. In fact, George Clooney, who is expected to play Licio Gelli in the movie dedicated to the former Venerable Master of the P2, produced by Sony Pictures, directed by Olivier Dahan, with the screenplay by David Black, has been location hunting in Arezzo.
Clooney will probably also star in “The Monster of Florence”, based on the novel of the same name by Douglas Preston and Mario Spezi, that will be produced by Clooney’s own company Smokehouse.
After some location hunting in Florence, Christopher McQuarrie (who won the Oscar for the Best Original Screenplay in 1995 for “The Usual Suspects”), is currently working on the screenplay. American actor Lorenzo Lamas is also location hunting in Tuscany for a documentary about the history of the Medicean Fortress of Arezzo.
And, finally, the set of “Voice from the Stone”, a thriller directed by Eric D. Howell, is expected to arrive in Tuscany in November. Set in 1950s Italy, it stars Emilia Clarke, the famous protagonist of “Game of Thrones”
VAL D’AOSTA/VICARI’S CHALLANGE
Shooting began on Mt. Blanche in mid-July on the new movie by Daniele Vicari, “Bianco”, about the challenge taken up in the 1960s by seven young people (including Walter Bonatti): to climb the Central Pillar of Freney, a 750 meter vertical ridge that plummets into the ice. The first phase of filming, without the actors, will be concluded in December, whilst the second phase will begin in March 2015 and involve three Italian and four French actors. “Bianco” is an Italian-French co-production. It is produced by Francesco Virga and Gianfilippo Pedote of Mir Cinematografica, with France’s Aeternam, and developed by Rai Cinema, with the support of the Valle d’Aosta Film Commission.
PIEDMONT/LITTIZZETTO GOES BACK TO SCHOOL
In mid-July the cast and crew of “Fuoriclasse”, the 8 part Rai Uno TV drama directed by Tiziana Aristarco, returned to Turin. The series stars Luciana Littizzetto as Professor Passamaglia, who, in season three, will be coping with the new family dynamics created by the arrival of little Anna and the changes at school, with classes, refresher courses, a new head teacher and pupils who are growing up and falling in love. Produced by ITV Movie (executive producer Rita Rognoni), filming is expected to last for 11 weeks. In October the set of “In un posto bellissimo”, the new movie by Giorgia Cecere, will arrive in Asti, where it will film for six weeks. Starring Isabella Ragonese, the movie is produced by Donatella Botti for Bianca Film.
TRENTINO/NEW DRAMA AMID SETS AND LABORATORIES
The projects that will obtain funding from the second tranche of the Trentino Film Commission Fund have been selected. “Anna e Yusuf ”, shooting on which began in August, is a two part mini-series for Rai Uno directed by Cinzia Th Torrini and produced by Italian International Film with the support of Rai Fiction. Set in Italy and North Africa, concomitantly with the start of the Arab Spring, it tells the story of a young mixed race couple who are forced to cope with all kinds of difficulties in order to prove that integration is possible.
“Hotel Academy”, the talent show which aims to train up a new tourism sector entrepreneurs and give them the chance to try their hand at running a hotel for a year, will be filmed in Trentino. Produced by Zodiak Active and directed by Michele Melani, with the executive production by GiUMa Produzioni (Trento) and Formasette (Bolzano), the main location of the talent show will be a luxury hotel in a famous tourist resort in the region, with the winner being awarded a year’s contract in a prestigious hotel in Trentino.
The Fund is also helping out “Il Rumeno”,a theatrical movie by the Romanian director Catalin Mitulescu, about a young couple separated by the distance between Italy and Romania, that is trying to save their marriage. It is produced by Apapaja with the support of the Romanian TV company SRTV and the EU’s Media Program.
There is also the documentary “Gladiators, a different world”, which tells the story of the Giro d’Italia from the viewpoint of the “domestique” and the first aid car. Directed by Lithuanian Arunas Matelis, it is produced by Stefilm International, with the executive production by GiUMa Produzioni and Decima Rosa (Trento), and the support of the Lithuanian Film Center, Film Commission Friuli Venezia Giulia, MEDIA and the Flanders Film Fund (Belgium).
Decima Rosa is also the co-producer of the documentary “Nar Per Fer” by Matteo Ferrarini (produced by Small Boss) and “Alpi 2.0”, another documentary by Aurelio Laino and Elena Negriolli (shooting has already been completed) about Lorenzo’s dream to connect his family’s refuge in the Stelvio Natural Park to the internet. In this case the con- tribution was requested to realize a cross-media platform in order to create an interactive version of the documentary.
In October the Scrivere Seriale laboratory will return to Turin when it will work on two drama series for television and the web set in Trentino. The teachers on the project, promoted by the Trentino Film Commission, with the cooperation of the cultural activities department of the Autonomous Provincial Government of Trento and organized by Bottega Finzioni, will include the writers and screenwriters Carlo Lucarelli, Giampiero Rigosi, Michele Cogo and the producer Simone Bachini. The laboratory, 50 hours distributed over 10 days, is open to a maxmum of 18 people and will be held on the premises of the Trentino Film Commission.
LIGURIA/A COMPETITION TO TALK ABOUT PORTS
A packed summer of advertising in Liguria. Among others, the international commercial for the XBOX video game console was filmed in Colle del Melogno and the Fiat Abarth commercial was shot along the stretch of the Via Aurelia between Noli and Finale Ligurie in the Province of Savona . The same stretch of road and Piazza della Vittoria in Genoa were also used to film the international commercial for the Euromillions Lottery (in the sea in front of Camogli) and the Spazio Genovacommercial (in Corso Italia, Genoa).
We should also mention an original initiative: “Porti- Ports et Identité”, a competition to create short dramas or documentaries (the closing date for participation is 26th September), realized by local and territorial organizations of the Regional Government of Tuscany, Liguria, Sardinia and Corsica as part of the Maritime Italy-France cross-border Cooperation Program “2007-2013”. The aim of this initiative is to celebrate the best ideas presented on the theme of the relationship between city-port-territory. The shorts should be no more than 5 minutes long and will be destined for broadcast on TV and the web, as well as for use on other devices and platforms. The Jury will consist of a representative of the Regional Government of Liguria, a representative from the Genova-Liguria Film Commission, an audiovisual sector expert and a representative from the world of the docks selected by the Management of the Genova-Liguria Film Commission. For more information about taking part in the competition, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org