While the world of Italian industry was meeting at a conference in Rome to certify the collapse of Italian movie exports, deciding that product internationalization was the only way to buck this trend, “The Future”, the cinematographic adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s novel “Una novelita lumpen”, directed by Chilean filmmaker Alicia Scherson, winner of the best director award at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2005 with “Play”, was being screened at the Sundance Film Festival (held the same week).
“The Future”, which captured the attention of critics at the Festival created by Robert Redford, stars Rutger Hauer, Nicolas Vaporidis, Chile’s Manuela Martelli and the young Italian actor Luigi Ciardo. It is an international co-production between Italy, Chile, Spain and Germany.
During its development the movie received support from the European Union’s MEDIA program and was realized with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Directorate-General for Cinema, the Regione Lazio and the Roma Lazio Film Commission.
The Italian partner is Movimento Film which also handles the Ita- lian distribution (the movie will be released in May), and while it is aimed at a well-defined audience (art house moviegoers), it will be able to count on a wider distribution, well beyond the borders of the production partners, because the international distribution rights have has been acquired by Visit Films in New York.
Emanuele Nespeca, a partner in Movimento Film along with Mario Mazzarotto, is a firm supporter of international co-productions which he believes “enrich” a project in financial as well as creative terms (“I have been a member of the Ateliers du Cinéma Européen since 2010 and understand that there is no longer room for the figure of the “autarchic” producer”).
Nespeca is not alone: other young Italian producers are now moving around on the international market with great confidence.
Andrea Stucovitz, for example, whose name is linked to the European co-production “Michel Petrucciani” – directed by Michael Radford, a special event at the 64th Cannes Film Festival – and his Partner Media Investment are currently working with Alessandra Buggenig’s Kinoview, in co-production with the Romanian Fundatia Teatru Contemporan, on the “Kinostella 36” project, a grotesque comedy set in the 30s directed by Romania’s Horatiu Malaele, already known to European audiences through his previous movie “Nunta Muta” (Silent Wedding).
With an estimated 2 million Euro budget, shooting is due to begin in Fall 2013. Stucovitz tells us that he “is hoping to find a third co- producer” at the Berlinale.
“Easy”, directed by Andrea Magnani, is the first minority co-production with Ukraine. It is 30% co-produced by his Pilgrim Film and Bartlebyfilms with Ukraine’s Fresh Production. The movie has a 1.7 million Euro budget and has received support from the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (MiBAC).
“Easy” is a tragicomic road movie which is expected to start shooting at the end of the summer in Ukraine where most of the filming will take place.
It will star Nicola Nocella who won a Silver Ribbon in 2010 for best male newco- mer in Pupi Avati’s movie “The Youngest Son”.
“Zoran my Nephew the Idiot” produced by Igor Princic’s Transmedia, directed by Matteo Oleotto, a co-production with Slovenia’s Staragara, is already in post-production.
The movie stars Giuseppe Battiston in his first leading role. “Zoran” can be seen as a model European production since, during its development, it passed through the EAVE Producers Workshop and received prestigious support from Eurimages, the Regional Audiovisual Fund of Friuli Venezia Giulia, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Fund, MiBAC, the Slovenian Film Center, Viba Film and RTV Slovenia. “Zoran” is a comedy set amidst the hostelries and “osmisas” of Friuli and Slovenia, and Igor Princic took advantage the territory’s traditions to complete the movie’s 1,200,000 Euro budget by launching “Osmisa Crowd Funding”: wine in exchange for shares in the production, one thousand bottles bearing a label of the movie offered by the wineries Renato Keber, Gradis’ciutta di Robert Princic, Villa Caratti di Domenico Fraccaroli and Isola Augusta di Massimo Bassani.
As part of the new approach to production, new relationships not just with the territory but also with the public are emerging.
This is confirmed by “Lucy in the Sky”, the movie produced by Martha Capello’s Martha Production and Emanuele Nespeca, that “did not start with a story but with the idea of conquering a taste”, as the producer explains. It is a co-production with Switzerland’s Peacock Film and Austria’s WILDart Film, as well as Italy’s Rai Cinema, with the support of the MiBAC and the BLS Film Fund & Commission.
“We hadn’t been involved in a co-production with Austria and Switzerland for a long time”, says Martha Capello, who goes on to explain that the co-production element mainly regards the content: “It is a story about borders and lack of communication”.
The location – shooting will start by the beginning of next summer in Alto Adige – assumes a symbolic “crucial” role in the movie: the territory itself is a character alongside the protagonists Giorgia Wurth and Johannes Zeiler, who starred in Alexander Sokurov’s “Faust”, which won the Golden Lion at Venice 2011. However, many young producers are also looking across the ocean.
Fabio Segatori, with his Baby Films, is the minority co-producer of “The Ghostmaker”, with Fotocomics of Los Angeles. The movie has a one million dollar budget and the world distribution is being handled by Spotlight Pictures.
“The Ghostmaker”, which has already been sold in 18 countries, is a supernatural thriller directed by Mauro Borrelli, an Italian filmmaker who has previously worked as an illustrator for Tim Burton and now lives and works in Los Angeles. The soundtrack has been composed by Chris Young, who wrote the music for “Spi- derman3”. The movie was premiered at the last Taormina Festival and distributed in German movie theaters last summer.
“Contrary to common belief ”, underlines Segatori, who currently works in Italy and the States, “Hollywood does not just churn out blockbusters but also nourishes the extremely lively independent movie sector. In Los Angeles it is possible to make movies at various production levels: a flexibility that I wish we had in Italy”.
Giovanni Pompili’s Kino Produzioni has chosen Brazil for the “Favela Football Club” project, directed by Marcello Brecciaroli.
Around a quarter of the documentary’s budget (€ 220,000, a 74’ theatrical version as well as a 52’ TV version are planned) will be provided by private investors whereas, thanks to bilateral agreements between Italy and Brazil, a co-production agreement is being set up with a Cariocan company that might make it possible for the production to access the country’s support fund.
“In order to complete the budget”, says the producer, “we are looking for a third co-producer in France”. The documentary, selected for the Eurodoc 2013 training program, shows the contradictions of a metropolis like Rio de Janeiro by following the favelas football championship on the eve of the 2014 World Cup.
Attention to social themes is central to “Voci nel buio” (Voices in the Dark) (where disability is seen not as a handicap but a creative resource), the feature with a € 600,000 budget directed by Rodolfo Bisatti and produced by Laura Pellicciari of Kineofilm in association with Gianluca Arcopinto (with the contribution of the FVG Audiovisual Fund) and Studio Arkadena (the Slovenian Cinema Fund). Gianluca Arcopinto is also handling the distribution with Pablo Film.
Set in Trieste and deeply rooted in the territory, the first screenings organized in January in theaters in Friuli and Veneto received a warm welcome.