Filmed for 22 weeks from October 2020 to March 2021 in various Apulian localities, “Fino all’ultimo battito”, directed by Cinzia TH Torrini, is the TV series that was shot for the highest absolute number of weeks in the region. “It was filmed entirely in Apulia, both the outdoor and indoor scenes, except for three days of filming in Cosenza”, confirms the director.
“Fino all’ultimo battito” is a six-part medical thriller which is expected to be broadcast on Rai Uno next fall. It is co-produced by Rai Fiction and Luca Barbareschi’s Eliseo Multimedia and stars Bianca Guaccero, Violante Placido, Marco Bocci, Fortunato Cerlino and Loretta Goggi. To date the storyline has been kept top secret although the broad outline is known: the ambiguous relationship between a gangster boss and a heart surgeon who is trying to save his professional dignity.
We focus on the filming with Cinzia TH Torrini, with one premise: although the hospital is the main location and the filming took place in the middle of the pandemic, the health emergency does not appear in the drama: “it was a production choice”, says the director.
Filming spanned two whole seasons and several hospitals. Torrini recalls: “we were supposed to film in a private clinic in Bari but, at a certain point, we had to move in a hurry because the hospital became a Covid area”. The ICU was totally rebuilt in another hospital, in Acquaviva delle Fonti, but the final part of the filming was carried out in the DEA complex, the new emergency department of “Vito Fazzi” in Lecce. The director is keen to emphasize that the filming in no way hampered the health emergency machine.
As is the style of Cinzia TH Torrini, the story is well rooted in the locations: “I wanted to show the typicalness of the region whilst always using whatever was functional to the story”. It is an Apulia in winter, different from the traditional “postcards”. There is Bari with its promenade, but above all “I tried to portray the little towns and villages around the regional capital, from Polignano to Conversano, from Bitonto to Molfetta, with its beautiful but little-known Cathedral”. Many of the actors are also from Apulia (“I really wanted to give a flavor of the place through the language as well”), in addition to the protagonist, Bianca Guaccero: Michele Venitucci, Michele Spadavecchia, Mimmo Mancini, Gaia Masciale and lots of others “plus Violante Placido, if we consider her origins”.
A large part of the technical crew was sourced in the region, these are resources that productions are now used to finding in Apulia, together with the services of the Apulia Film Commission which, from this year, also manages the regional Fund, from which “Fino all’ultimo battito” benefited by taking part in the open call.
The president of the Apulia Film Commission, Simonetta Dellomonaco is satisfied, fully aware of the fact that TV series have a very strong impact on the territory. “According to a recent study we commissioned, if you add up the direct and indirect effects, the standard impact of TV series on the region ranges from 1 to 9”.