All the on-site inspections are complete. The locations identified. Filming begins in February. Massimo Monachini, Paco Cinematografica’s production delegate, is visibly satisfied with the work done both in relation to the Emilia-Romagna Film Commission [ERFC], as well as the locations they will be filming in and what will be seen in the movie «Mio fratello rincorre i dinosauri-My brother chases dinosaurs».
A Paco Cinematografica co- production with Spain’s Neo Art Producciones, the movie is based on the eponymous novel by Giacomo Mazzariol (published by Einaudi) who also worked on the screenplay with Fabio Bonifacci, it is directed by Stefano Cipani and stars Alessandro Gassmann.
It tells the story of the relationship between two brothers, one of whom – the one that chases dinosaurs – has Downs syndrome. «Gassmann will play little Gio’s father. But the kids are the real stars», Monachini is quick to emphasize. «The movie was also made under the patronage of the Associazione Italiana Persone Down [Italian Association of People with Downs Syndrome]».
While the book was set in Castelfranco Veneto the movie will be filmed in Emilia. «There were problems shooting in Veneto because to date there is no Cinema Fund. So we immediately got in touch with Fabio Abagnato, head of the Emilia-Romagna Film Commission and got Fabio Bonifacci, a true native of Bologna, to adapt the screenplay».
Apart from the contributions and technical support, the great merit of Emilia was that it had some locations that were perfectly suited to the story: the Giovanni Cappellini Geological museum in Bologna has wonderful exhibits, in particular the complete skeleton of a spectacular Diplodocus (dinosaurs are Gio’s great passion and at a certain point the family “gets lost”). Plus the municipality of Pieve di Cento, famous for its Carnival. «This is where we will film the first takes: a parade of allegorical floats will be reconstructed there. Confetti, smoke machines, lots of floats in the streets and hundreds of masked townsfolk. We received a really high level of participation and helpfulness from everyone, the local government and the local people». Around ten floats will take part in the parade. «One Jurassic one adapted exclusively for us ».
Monachini explains that despite Paco Cinematografica being a company that has worked with lots of film commissions (it has produced movies like «Basilicata Coast to Coast» and «Deception»), this is the first time it has worked with the ERFC.
«We have received total support and established an ongoing dialogue. The staff was first in line for opening up a dialogue with the Mayor of Pieve and the Administration. Their contribution was fundamental: there is always a slight diffidence about debut works on the part of local bodies. Organizing a Carnival out of season was a big commitment… I could say that the FC was our extra man. It behaved like a co-producer to all effects and purposes ».
Out of a production budget of€ 2,500,000, the Region recognized a contribution of € 150,000.
«Then it took steps to also offer us support in identifying suppliers, for example helping us to obtain special terms. The Town Council and the Carnival volunteers were involved at almost zero cost: just a few thousand Euros of pure out-of-pocket expenses, street cleaning, making the area safe. Remember we will be closing the town down for nearly three days».
It is also true that to be in a movie that is aiming for a Cannes showcase guarantees a great advertising spin-off effect, especially when you are very focused on tourism that is linked, in particular, to an important event like a Carnival.