New empowered women, charming detectives, top-notch movies, comedies, documentaries and operas: the spring line-up that Rai Com will present at the upcoming MIPTV is undoubtedly rich in fresh new titles ready to be delivered to the international market.
A brand-new detective crime drama set in southern Italy leads Rai’s line-up. Led by a strong woman who is fighting the stereotypes within the system: Lolita Lobosco (8×50’ Detective-Crime). Lolita is the deputy commissioner of a police station in the charming city of Bari. She has exceptional professional skills, a strong dedication to her work and good instincts. As a single woman dominating a male-oriented workplace, Lolita Lobosco is celebrated by Italian TV audiences as a great character-driven show.
A fearless woman is also the protagonist of Mina Settembre (12×50’). With more than 6 million viewers in Italy, Mina Settembre has been leading the TV scene in the past season. Mina is an ordinary but exceptionally brave woman who is trying to get her life back on track. Recently separated, Mina is torn between her ex-husband and an attractive new co-worker. The series mixes drama with a bit of romance and a twist of mystery. It paints a fresco of Naples and the diverse and surprising humanity that populates it. The show has already been confirmed for a second season.
Director Alessandro D’Alatri (The Bastards of Pizzofalcone, 2018) brings another series of books by Maurizio De Giovanni to the screen: Commissario Ricciardi (Il Commissario Ricciardi, 6×100’). Set in Naples in the ‘30s, the series mixes mystery and the supernatural in the investigations of a police detective with a special “gift”: he is able to see the ghosts of murdered people and hear their last words.
Award-winning director Daniele Vicari and Emanuele Scaringi teamed up to direct The Alligator (L’Alligatore, 8×50’) a unique mix of film noir and blues music. The series features the most famous and beloved character invented by controversial Italian novelist Massimo Carlotto. Like a noir anti-hero submerged in the underground atmosphere of illegal circles and dive blues clubs, Massimo Buratti aka The Alligator, is a former prisoner and blues singer who serves as an unconventional private detective.
The last episode of the iconic Commissario Montalbano, Il metodo Catalanotti (The Catalanotti Method), scored another prime-time record for Rai 1 with a share of 38.4% and over 9 million viewers. Following the deaths of novelist Andrea Camilleri and the director Alberto Sironi, this latest successful movie was directed by the protagonist/actor, Luca Zingaretti, who plays Salvo Montalbano in the drama. This might be the very last unmissable episode which ends the Montalbano saga. The production company, Palomar, together with Rai Fiction, will decide the destiny of this top selling TV show.
Crime thriller Standing Tall (Io ti cercherò, 8×50’) is a fast-paced TV series. Actor Alessandro Gassmann plays Valerio, an ex-policeman determined to hunt for the truth behind his son’s assassination. The body of the young Ettore is found strewn along the banks of the Tiber River, a staged-suicide covering up a murder. Dismissed from service under murky circumstances, now Valerio is working at a small-town gas station. In order to obtain justice, Valerio takes on a difficult path of redemption which forces him to face up to his past as a man as well as a father.
Rai’s romantic costume drama The Ladies’ Paradise (Il Paradiso delle Signore) continues with a new season of daily episodes, for a total of 5 seasons and 540 episodes of 50’ each. Set between the ‘50s and ‘70s, the show brings back to life a revolutionary store in Milan where beauty and luxury provide the polished background to a hostile environment.
Alessandro Grande’s debut feature is a coming-of-age drama. The lead character is Regina, a 15-year-old girl who dreams about becoming a singer. Her father Luigi supports her, especially after the death of her mother. The pair gets caught in a crescendo of anxiety and guilt.
After the success on the big screen, Hidden Away (Volevo Nascondermi, 2020) comes to TV. Elio Germano won a Silver Bear for Best Actor for his unique performance in the movie as the artist Antonio Ligabue (1899-1965), known for being the most famous outsider artist the country has ever seen.
With If Only (Magari), first-time director Ginevra Elkann has put together a sentimental comedy about three kids of divorced parents. While living in Paris with their bourgeois Russian-Orthodox mother, they are suddenly packed off and sent to spend time with their unconventional and broke Italian father, Carlo.
Academy-Award winning director Gabriele Salvatores tells the story of the life-changing road trip of a wedding singer and his autistic son in All my crazy Love (Tutto il mio folle amore, 2019).
The line-up of movies also features two bright and entertaining comedies: Divorce in Las Vegas and A son named Erasmus. In Divorce in Las Vegas (Divorzio a Las Vegas, 100’ – 2020), Giampaolo Morelli (best known for his role as Inspector Coliandro), is reunited with his wife who he married during a nine-hour romantic love story in Las Vegas. In A son named Erasmus (Un figlio di nome Erasmus, 103’ – 2019), four friends in their forties receive shocking news from a woman they all loved in their twenties: a child that was conceived with one of them, but who is the father?
Director and movie critic, Marco Spagnoli, brings a documentary portrait of Federico Fellini to the screen in Fellini. I’m a Clown (Fellini. Io sono un clown, 50’). With unseen behind the scenes footage from the mockumentary “Director’s Block Notes” and “The Clown”, the documentary explores the artist in his new relationship with Television that was an emerging mass media at that time – and the importance of the image of clowns which, according to Fellini, are “delusional drunken ambassadors of a vocation with no escape”: cinema.
On March 27th, 2020, the Urbi et Orbi Blessing by Pope Francis resonated in an empty St Peter’s Square in the Vatican during the first lockdown. In Only Together (Solo Insieme, 50’), the Pope, who is widely recognized as the People’s Pope, is portrayed through the eyes of journalist Gualtiero Peirce, who has had exclusive access to the Vatican Media Archive.
Academy-Award winning director Gabriele Salvatores is the People’s director. After his experiment Italy In A Day (2014), Salvatores returns to the language of a collective documentary with a report on Italy during the lockdown: It was spring outside (Fuori era Primavera, 75’). Bringing together tons of home-made videos and mobile footage featuring breathtaking empty Italian squares, the healthcare workers seen as real-life heroes, the mise-en-scenes on the balconies. The result is an emotional documentary with the unmatchable realism of a collective reportage filtered through the direction and vision of a great artist.
The documentary, Bosnia Express (52’/70’), takes the viewer on a trip through the history of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The documentary follows the old Express 451railroad, a train connecting Sarajevo to Belgrade at the time of Tito’s Yugoslavia. A journey that continues until the present day when the country’s new profile is still taking shape.
The Resurrection by Piero della Francesca as it has never been seen before in The Most Beautiful Painting in The World (La pittura più bella del mondo, 60’). The documentary is a journey inside a masterpiece which has fascinated intellectuals and artists for centuries.
The Performing Arts line-up this year features three unique operas. A one-off event shot and live streamed from the Teatro alla Scala, conducted by Riccardo Chailly, portrays Salome as a victim of abuse. The Teatro dell’Opera in Rome brings La Traviata to the stage while the Teatro Comunale in Bologna presents a performance of Adriana Lecouvreur.