Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Digital Lighthouse sarà tra i protagonisti dell'edizione 2015 della Rassegna del Cinema di Maratea


Dal 29 luglio al 2 agosto, sul meraviglioso sfondo della Perla del Tirreno, Digital Lighthouse sarà tra i protagonisti dell'edizione 2015 della Rassegna del Cinema di Maratea.

Un nuovo modo di fare cinema: questo è il messaggio con il quale lo staff di Digital Lighthouse, durante la serata del 31 luglio, presenterà i nuovi Studios e la sua moderna struttura di produzione e post produzione cinematografica e televisiva tutta made in Basilicata. La kermesse culturale, che quest'anno verrà presentata dall'attrice holliwodiana Jo Champa, prevede cinque serate e un cartellone ricco di incontri, interviste, anteprime e proiezioni di qualità, con la partecipazione di attori e registi di fama nazionale e internazionale.

Attraverso uno spazio permanente, allestito per l'occasione, Digital Lighthouse, progetto totalmente ideato e realizzato da Geocart, farà conoscere al pubblico e agli addetti ai lavori le innovative possibilità ad elevato standard qualitativo che lo rendono moderna industria cinematografica e interlocutore unico per ogni esigenza di produzione artistica. Le strumentazioni ad alto contenuto tecnologico e le nuove metodologie di lavoro adottate, unitamente all'elevato know how tecnico e creativo già maturato, fanno di Digital Lighthouse un nuovo punto di riferimento nazionale e internazionale per il settore della Cinematografia, del Digital Cinema Effects, del Broadcast oltre che del comparto Media & Entertainment, inclusi il Gaming e il settore dei Beni Culturali.

E tutto questo non poteva che realizzarsi in Basilicata, sempre più luogo ideale per vivere, lavorare e raccontare, anche attraverso il cinema.

72nd Venice Film Festival- Four Italians in Competition


Here is the complete list of films in competition for the 72nd Venice Film Festival.. 

Abluka (Emin Alper)

Heart of a Dog (Laurie Anderson)

Sangue del mio Sangue (Marco Bellocchio)

Looking for Grace (Sue Brooks)

Equals (Drake Doremus)

Remember (Atom Egoyan)

Beasts of No Nation (Cary Fukunaga)

Per Amor Vostro (Giuseppe M. Gaudino)

Marguerite (Xavier Giannoli)

Robin, the Last Day (Amos Gitai)

A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino)

The Endless River (Oliver Hermanus)

The Danish Girl (Tom Hooper)

Anomalisa (Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman)

L’attesa (Piero Messina)

11 minut (Jerzy Skolimowski)

Francofonia (Aleksandr Sokurov)

El Clan (Pablo Trapero)

Desde allá (Lorenzo Vigas)

L’hermine (Christian Vincent)

Behemoth (Liang Zhao)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Vittoria Puccini Becomes Oriana Fallaci in Marco Turco's "L'Oriana"

“There are moments in life when keeping silent becomes a fault, and speaking an obligation, a civic duty, a moral challenge, a categorical imperative from which we cannot escape.”

Those words come from a woman who dedicated her life to finding and exposing the truth, no matter how ugly it was. She defined the expression, "getting to the heart of the matter". She didn't give a second thought to risking her life in order to bring humanitarian stories to the front pages of newspapers all over the world. Oriana Fallaci, the journalist, was a respected professional that fought passionately for gender equality and human rights by going directly into the line of fire and confronting the sources. Now, filmmaker Marco Turco shows us tOriana Fallaci, the human being in his television film that recently made its North American premiere at the Italian Contemporary Film Festival in Toronto.

L'Oriana is a thought-provoking portrait of one of Italy's most famed and controversial journalists. I discovered the work of Fallaci upon the publication of her final book, The Rage and the Pride, which she wrote in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11th. The book is a confirmation of the themes carried throughout her career and further explores her beliefs and fury on Islamic terrorism, Jihad and the lack of reaction from the Western world. At the time of her death in 2006, she was facing charges of slandering Islam under Italian law following the publication of that book. I remember watching Paolo Virzì's film, Caterina va in citta' during the Open Roads film series at Lincoln Center that year when Margherita Buy's character made a reference to her. Then just a few months later, she was gone. But her legacy lives on in her novels and iconic interviews with numerous international pillars of pop culture and politics including Ayatollah Khomeini, Henry Kissinger, Anna Magnani and Antonio De Curtis (Totò) just to name a few.

During the entire span of her career, Fallaci received both praise and criticism, so it's no surprise that Turco's film garnered the same reactions. As an American watching, I definitely had a different perspective than Italians. So, I really had no criticism of the movie. In fact, I loved it. I laughed, I cried, I felt empathy and sadness. She had a hard life. She was in love a couple times, she had a miscarriage, she was always traveling, and ultimately she died alone. However, she lived a life full of passion and rich experiences. She felt that her career was her child and she never really got over the one love of her life, Georgios Papadopoulos, the subject of her novel, Un Uomo. Turco's film shows her professional side just as much as her human side, and I really appreciate this quality. The screenplay was co-written by two of the best television writers working in Italy today- Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli. So, you really can't go wrong with a team like that.

I spoke with director, Marco Turco over the phone while he was in Toronto presenting the film. He explained to me the most important aspect of Fallaci's character that he really wanted to capture with this film was her enormous passion for life. Much of his research included interviews with Fallaci's colleagues and friends. Then when casting an actress to portray Fallaci, he turned to Vittoria Puccini. The two had already worked on two films together, so she was his natural choice for the role.

Journalist, Maria Ilenia Crifò Ceraolo
Oriana Fallaci had such a complex career and international presence, I did not feel at liberty to write this article from my perspective alone. So, I enlisted the help of a young Sicilian journalist I met through social media. Her name is Maria Ilenia Crifò Ceraolo. She works as a print and online journalist. Her work has recently been published in "Il Lucano" Magazine of Basilicata and the website, www.gioiosatoday.it. I interviewed her in Italian and made an English translation, so I am publishing both versions.

Let's start at the beginning. What are your thoughts on the work of Oriana Fallaci?
I became familiar with Oriana Fallaci’s work a few years ago when I began reading her novel Penelope at War" and I immediately became passionate about her. However, I really fell in love with her work after reading Un uomo earlier this year. That led me to start looking for interviews and articles written by her, and I was literally kidnapped. I think that Oriana Fallaci was far ahead of the time in which she lived. With her work ethic and insight, she opened the doors for not only journalists who came after her, but also for women in general.
Quali sono i tuoi pensieri sul lavoro di Oriana Fallaci?
Ho ‘conosciuto’ Oriana Fallaci qualche anno fa, leggendo il suo romanzo “Penelope alla guerra” e mi sono subito appassionata a lei. Ma l’ ‘amore vero’ è scoppiato leggendo “Un uomo” quest’anno. Da lì ho iniziato a cercare interviste e articoli da lei scritti e la sua figura mi ha letteralmente rapita. Penso che Oriana Fallaci fosse molto avanti rispetto ai tempi in cui viveva e che con il suo modo di lavorare abbia sfondato tante porte per le giornaliste che sono venute dopo di lei, ma anche per le donne in genere.

What did you think of Marco Turco's film, L'Oriana?
The film received its share of criticism. Although I am not in total agreement with all the critics, there were different aspects of the figure of Oriana Fallaci and her life that were not developed enough or were fictional. With that said, the film by Marco Turco allowed me to add some pieces in my personal journey of discovery of Fallaci.
Ed il film di Marco Turco? Ti è piaciuto?
Ho letto molte critiche negative su “L’Oriana” di Marco Turco, tuttavia io non sono completamente d’accordo in merito. Sicuramente diversi aspetti della figura di Oriana Fallaci  e della sua vita non sono stati sviluppati a sufficienza o sono stati romanzati, ma ricordiamoci che si tratta pur sempre di una “fiction” e, come suggerisce il termine stesso, quindi non si tratta di realtà. Inoltre, credo che ci siano delle esigenze cinematografiche che non consentano di essere del tutto fedeli al ‘vero storico’. Ad ogni modo, il film di Marco Turco mi ha permesso di aggiungere dei tasselli nel mio personale percorso di conoscenza della Fallaci.

In the film, Oriana Fallaci equates her career with having a child, explaining that she takes care of it, nurtures it and makes it a priority in her life. What do you feel are the challenges that women face in balancing a demanding career like journalism while having a healthy, fulfilling personal life?
Surely managing a career of any kind while simultaneously pursuing a family is not easy 
for women, who are 'multitasking' and facing various commitments in a single day. The main challenge is precisely being able to cover both sides of the coin, family and work. It is difficult, but not impossible.

Nel film di Marco Turco, Oriana Fallaci parla della sua carriera," è come avere un figlio", nel senso che si prende cura di lui e lo rende una priorità della sua vita. Quali sono le sfide delle donne che devono affrontare nel conciliare una carriera impegnativa come quella del giornalismo, e avere una famiglia?
Sicuramente gestire una carriera lavorativa di qualsiasi tipo (e non soltanto quella giornalistica, seppur sia fra le più impegnative) e portare avanti contemporaneamente una famiglia non è semplice per le donne, che sono ‘multitasking’ e devono affrontare impegni di vario tipo nel corso di una singola giornata. La principale sfida è quindi proprio quella di riuscire a far convivere bene le diverse facce della medaglia, famiglia e lavoro. Difficile, ma non impossibile. 


In this time of social media and selfies, do you feel that people tend to write the truth, or in many cases, journalists and bloggers just want to be accepted, so they'll get followers and retweets, sacrificing their true feelings and opinions for the sole purpose of gaining popularity?

This is a sore point. I think there's a good chunk of people riding the wave of popularity and therefore often, especially on social media, write what they think will please the public and will gain more popularity. However, in the midst are genuine voices. We just have to make more of an effort to find them. I think anyone who wants to be a journalist should know Oriana Fallaci’s work, not necessarily to love it, but to understand how much time, commitment and sacrifice it takes to become a true professional and how always being honest, even at the risk of sounding conflictive, can go a long way.

In questo storico dei social media e selfies, sente che le persone tendono a scrivere la verità o in molti casi i giornalisti e blogger vogliono solo essere  apprezzati e accettati in modo che otterranno  seguaci e retweet? Se fosse cosi, quindi, i loro veri sentimenti interiori, vengono messi da parte per il solo desiderio di ricercare popolarità.
Nota dolente questa. Penso che ci sia una buona fetta di persone che cavalca l’onda della popolarità e che quindi spesso, in particolare sui social media, scriva ciò che ritiene possa compiacere il pubblico dei lettori e far ottenere maggiore popolarità. Tuttavia non bisogna arrendersi perché in mezzo al frastuono di certi ‘tam tam’ esistono ancora voci genuine ed incondizionate: bisogna solo ricercarle con maggiore attenzione rispetto alle altre. Penso che chiunque voglia fare il giornalista dovrebbe conoscere la figura di Oriana Fallaci, non necessariamente per amarla, ma per capire quanto lavoro, impegno e sacrificio occorra per diventare dei veri professionisti e quanto l’essere sempre sinceri, anche a costo di sembrare spietati, possa portare lontano.

A scene from "L'Oriana"
At the end of the film, Fallaci gave advice to a young journalist, saying "Write the truth. It’s like a surgical instrument. It hurts, but it heals." What do you think of this advice?

I think it's good advice. In addition to being a journalist, I am also a writer and often write for the need of pulling something from inside me that I cannot express verbally. It makes me realize how sometimes it is not easy to deal with the truth, but it is very important personally and professionally to find a way. 
Alla fine del film, ha dato consigli a un giovane giornalista, dicendo di "scrivere sempre la verità .. è come uno strumento chirurgico .. fa male, ma si guarisce." Cosa ne pensa di questo consiglio?
Credo che sia un ottimo consiglio. Oltre a svolgere il praticantato da giornalista, io sono anche una scrittrice e spesso scrivo per la necessità di tirare fuori qualcosa che ho dentro e che non riesco ad esprimere a voce. Mi rendo conto quindi di quanto a volte non sia facile confrontarsi con la verità, ma di quanto tuttavia scrivere il vero serva molto sia a livello personale che a livello professionale.
In your opinion, what are the innate qualities of Oriana’s personality and work ethic that have contributed to her legacy as a journalist?
Oriana Fallaci had lots of innate qualities. Her insight, tenacity and great intelligence are a few that immediately come to mind. Her legacy will be the example that she made in facing life’s challenges without surrendering, without being influenced, and trying to make society understand that we must see a woman’s potential rather than her weaknesses. Her legacy will also be in her encouragement to follow our instincts and to believe in ourselves.

Secondo lei, quali sono le qualità innate  di Oriana Fallaci e mettendo da parte ciò, qual è la sua eredità?
Oriana Fallaci possedeva tantissime qualità innate: la perspicacia, la tenacia ed una grande intelligenza, fra quelle che mi vengono subito a mente. La sua eredità dovrebbe risiedere nell’esempio che ci ha dato affrontando le sfide sia lavorative che della vita senza arrendersi e senza lasciarsi condizionare, cercando di far comprendere alla società che bisogna considerare l’essere donna una potenzialità e non una debolezza ed insegnandoci inoltre a seguire il nostro istinto ed a fidarci sempre di noi stessi.

Nearly a decade after her death, Oriana Fallaci's work is as relevant as ever. There are countless video clips, photos, articles and quotes on the internet. Her books are also easily available. Check back here for news on the international distribution of L'Oriana.

The Bertolucci Brothers

With a career that spans over six decades, Bernardo Bertolucci  never seems to run out of stories to tell or innovative ways to shoot them. Born in the northern Italian city of Parma in 1940, Bertolucci grew up surrounded by arts and literature. His father was a writer, film critic and art history professor. He encouraged his son's creativity and interest in films and frequently took him to film screenings. By the age of 15, Bernardo Bertolucci made 2 short films and was becoming a respected writer. His first book, In Cerca del Mistero (In Search of Mystery), won the Premio Viareggio, one of the top literary awards in Italy.  

Bertolucci originally set out to be a writer and poet like his father. In 1958 at the age of 18, he enrolled in the University of Rome and attended the Faculty of Modern Literature. Shortly thereafter, he started working under the guidance of Pier Paolo Pasolini. Bertolucci's father had helped Pasolini publish his first novel and Pasolini paid back that favor by hiring Bertolucci as a first assistant on his 1961 film, Accattone, and that is when Bertolucci's passion for cinema took over. Following his work on that film, he quit school and embarked on his own independent study of film. 

In 1962, Bertolucci made his first feature film that was written by his mentor, Pasolini. The film titled, La commare secca (The Grim Reaper) is a murder mystery in which the homicide of a prostitute is investigated through a series of flashbacks by the person who actually committed the crime. The film was not a big commercial success but earned him some recognition among critics. Then just two years later, he made another film, Prima della rivoluzione (Before the Revolution). Not a big commercial success either, it did win him some more acclaim as it was shown at the Cannes Film Festival in 1964. That second film prompted Bertolucci to leave the wings of Pasolini to follow his own vision. The result has been a career of character driven films with complicated subject matter that is sometimes scandalous in nature. The scandalous element of his work has been noted several times throughout his career especially in his representation of women.

The most high profile scandal surrounding his work was with the 1972 film, Last Tango in Paris. The scene that brought so much attention and criticism to the film was an anal sex scene involving Maria Schneider's character, Jeane. Critics also took offense to the fact that her character was naked through much of the film while her male counterpart, played by Marlon Brando, was usually fully clothed. The sex scene had life changing repercussions for those involved. Actress Maria Schneider was just 20 years old at the time and claimed she did not know about the scene until just moments before filming it and that she was crying real tears because she felt humiliated and violated by both Bertolucci and Brando. Although the onscreen couple did not actually have sex in the scene, the fact that she was not told how the scene would go down caused her emotional distress. The experience prompted her to become a women's rights advocate, in particular fighting for more female directors in Hollywood. Schneider passed away in 2011, never having forgiven Bertolucci for the emotional trauma caused by her involvement in that film. Marlon Brando also felt deceived by the director. He said publicly that after seeing the final cut of the film, he was horrified and traumatized by the way in which that scene was shot and edited. The film actually prompted criminal proceedings to be brought against Bertolucci in Italy for the scene, and the film was pulled from distribution by the censorship commission. An Italian court revoked Bertolucci's rights and ended up giving him a four-month suspended prison sentence. Years later, after the censorship commission was done away with, a slightly censored version of the film found its way back to public distribution. For as much criticism as the film received, it is also credited for changing the way eroticism was seen in Hollywood, and opened the doors for this type of subject matter in general-release films.

Bertolucci made a number of films in the 70's and 80's; some successful, some not.  However, his relevance as a filmmaker seemed to become stronger with each film he made regardless of the film's commercial success. His 1976 film, Novecento (1900) featured an international cast that brought together A-Listers from Italy, France and America. The film stars Robert De Niro and France's beloved Gerard Depardieu, and follows the lives of two men during the political unsettling that took place in Italy during the first half of the 20th century.  Bertolucci's next epic film, which won a whopping 9 Oscars at the 60th Academy Awards was The Last Emperor. The biographical film tells the story of Aisin-Gioro Puyi, the last Emperor of China, and won every category in which it was nominated. It was the first feature film cleared by the government of the People's Republic of China to film in the Forbidden City, the Chinese imperial palace which lasted from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty.   

In the last couple decades, Bernardo Bertolucci has continued on with his style of poetically shot movies with complicated characters and political unrest. Stealing Beauty starring Liv Tyler in 1996, and The Dreamers in 2003 were his biggest box office hits in recent years.  His most recent film was released in 2012. Titled, Io e te (Me and You), the story follows Lorenzo, an introverted 14-year-old that spends a week hidden in the basement of his house, and his rebellious step-sister, Olivia, who appears on the scene to disturb his solitude. The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival, and had a limited U.S. release. Bertolucci's films are widely popular to this day and many are still available through websites like Amazon.

 Giuseppe Bertolucci

“I owe everything to Giuseppe Bertolucci. He was my first friend, my first director, my first author. He was the one to teach me how to read poetry, to move, to walk in this world, to look at the sky, to understand where beauty comes from and to recognize it.” Those words came from Roberto Benigni upon the passing of Italian filmmaker, Giuseppe Bertolucci, the younger brother of renowned director, Bernardo Bertolucci.

Giuseppe Bertolucci got his start in cinema in the 1970s by working on his older brother’s films. He directed his first feature film in 1977, Berlinguer ti voglio bene (Berlinguer, I love you) which stars a very young Roberto Benigni. Berlinguer ti voglio bene is the story of Italian society in the 1970s, when the major protesting was over and Italians were enjoying an economic boom. The film is set in the Tuscan town of Prato, where Benigni grew up and features the language dialect of Dante.

Throughout his entire career, Bertolucci went back and forth as screenwriter and director, co-writing some of the most beautiful films in Italian cinema, including the classic comedy, Non ci resta che piangere, with Roberto Benigni and Massimo Troisi. The film takes the comedy duo on a trip through time. Released in 1984, the film was a huge success in Italy and was recently restored and made available on DVD.

Giuseppe Bertolucci is known in Italy for his work at Bologna’s Cineteca, a film archive that houses more than 18,000 films. The center is internationally recognized for its excellence in film preservation and restoration.

In recent years, Bertolucci focused his energies on making documentaries, creating two films about Pier Paolo Pasolini. Perhaps he was inspired to tell the filmmaker’s story by his work at Cineteca, which has an extensive archive on Pasolini that includes photographs, films, magazines, catalogs, press clippings, theses, speeches and radio programs.

After battling a two-year illness, Giuseppe Bertolucci passed away on June 16, 2012 in the Pugliese city of Lecce. He was 65 years old.

Friday, July 24, 2015

72nd Venice Film Festival- Three Italian Films In Competition for Venice Days Award

Arianna by Carlo Lavagna

By Vittoria Scarpa for Cineuropa

20 films, 8 debut pieces, 18 global premieres, and 15 countries represented, with special consideration for Italian films, of which 3 will feature among the other films in competition. This is a breakdown of the Venice Days 2015, which will be held from 2 to 12 September as part of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival. “The big festivals are always rife with controversy over the representation of national works”, announced Giorgio Gosetti, the General Delegate of the section, when the line-up was revealed earlier today in Rome, “too many German films at the Berlinale, too many French ones at Cannes… This year the Venice Days will be no exception, and we can’t help but be proud of the three Italian films in the running”.

A total of 11 films will be battling it out for the Venice Days Award, which, for the second year running, will be awarded by the jury of young European cinephiles of the 28 Times Cinema project, headed up this year by director Laurent Cantet.The 3 Italian films are: Arianna by first-time director Carlo Lavagna, starring Ondina Quadri, Massimo Popolizio and Valentina Carnelutti, about a nineteen-year-old finding out about his body (a Ring Film production with Rai Cinema); Long Live the Bride by Ascanio Celestini, centring around an eccentric group of travellers whose lives revolve around a bar on the outskirts of Rome, starring Alba Rohrwacher, Salvatore Striano and the director himself (a Malia production in co-production with French production companies Aeternam Films and Les Films du Fleuve headed up by the Dardenne brothers), and First Light by Vincenzo Marra, starring Riccardo Scamarcio, which tells the story of a son being fought over by his Italian father and Chilean mother (produced by Paco Cinematografica with the Chilean production company Jirafa Film).

The opening film, in competition, will be Spanish thriller El Desconocido, the debut film of Dani de la Torre, starring Luis Tosar; closing the section, out of competition, will be another debut piece: The Daughter, a family saga directed by Australian director Simon Stone, starring Geoffrey Rush. The other films featured in the selection, which this year, has the common thread of ‘non places’ of society – and, as was pointed out by the Deputy Director of the Venice Days, Sylvain Auzou, “does not just include serious and dramatic films, but also makes room for cheerful pieces” – are all first films. There’s As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid (France, Tunisia, Belgium), in which an eighteen-year-old rebels through her music just a few short months before the Arab Spring, the Polish film Klezmer by Piotr Chrzan, the story of the Holocaust told in an original tone, French-Chinese co-production Underground Fragrance by Pengfei, which crosses the fates of two young people in modern-day China, Indian comedy Island City by Ruchika Oberoi, and finally, Chilean film The Memory of Water by Matias Bize and Australian-Canadian co-production Early Winter by Michael Rowe. The eleventh film to feature in competition will be announced in due course.

This year the Miu Miu Women’s Tales project will feature Alice Rohrwacher and Agnès Varda. The two directors will unveil their respective short films, De Djess and Les 3 boutons. The programme of special events will include a screening of Alessandro Rossellini’s short film Viva Ingrid!, a journey around Italy through the eyes of Ingrid Bergman, the ‘primitive’ animated film Bangland di Lorenzo Berghella, a sort of Italian version of The Simpsons, Il paese dove gli alberi volano by Davide Barletti and Jacopo Quadri, the unpublished story of Eugenio Barba and the Odin Teatret he set up fifty years ago, Argentina by Carlos Saura, which maps the diverse musical styles in which the South American country is rooted, and finally, Innocence of Memories by Grant Gee, in which Nobel prize winner Orhan Pamuk talks about his hometown of Istanbul.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

72nd Venice Film Festival- Alice Rohrwacher's “DE DJESS” "to Unspool" for Giornate degli Autori - Womens' Tales

Update May 12, 2016

It's just been announced that Alice Rohrwacher was named the 2016 Filmmaker in Residence by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Click here for the full story.


From Variety.com

Prada women’s-only label Miu Miu and the Venice Film Festival’s separately run Venice Days section have renewed their partnership on “The Miu Miu Women’s Tales” series of shorts that will see hot young Italian director Alice Rohrwacher’s “De Djess,” a surreal satire on the world of film, fashion and paparazzi, bowing on the Lido, where it was shot.

Rohrwacher, winner of the Cannes Grand Prix in 2014 for “The Wonders,” shot “De Djess” at the Venice Lido’s Excelsior Hotel, the fest’s glamour hub. It features a dress with crystal beads, known as “dress number 328,” from the Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2015 collection, in the lead role.

Shepherded by Carlo Cresto-Dina, lensed by Rohrwacher’s regular ace cinematographer Helene Louvart (“The Beaches of Agnes”), and also starring her sister, Italian A-lister Alba Rohrwacher, “De Djess” is the ninth Miu Miu commission in the festival-friendly series, now in its fourth year. The director and title of the 10th Miu Miu Women’s Tales short, also set to screen in Venice, remains to be announced.

The Lineup of the festival's official selection will be announced on July 29.

72nd Venice Film Festival- Three Italian Projects up for European Gap-Financing Market

Daniele Vicari's "Bianco"
One of my favorite sections of any film festival is the Market or Industry because that is where all the undiscovered treasures can be found. Many moons ago in 2002, my short film, I presented my short film, "Gelsomina" at the Industry Office, and it was one of the best experiences of my life. This year, The Venice Film Market will present, the 2nd edition of the European Gap-Financing Market, which will take place on September 4 and 5, 2015.

The European Gap-Financing Market is a new platform intended to support the European producers to secure the final financing of their projects through one-to-one meetings with potential and appropriate international professionals.

The main criteria to participate in this original event is to have 70% of the financing in place, and the VFM is offering 15 selected projects the unique opportunity to close their international financing through selected financiers, producers, distributors, sales agents, post-production companies and film funds.

This year the European Gap-Financing Market has the invaluable support of the MEDIA program of the European Union and the 15 selected projects are:

#flora63
by Stéphane ROBELIN (France/Belgium/Germany)
Bianco by Daniele VICARI (Italy/France)
Letters from War by Ivo FERREIRA (Portugal)
Comic Sans by Nevio MARASOVIC (Croatia/ Slovenia)
Diamond Island by Davy CHOU (France/ Cambodia)
The Eremites by Ronny TROCKER (Germany)
Freaking by Julia DUCOURNAU (France/ Belgium/ Switzerland)
Children of the Night by Andrea DE SICA (Italy)
The Bank of Broken Hearts by Onur ÜNLÜ (Turkey)
The Swallows of Kabul by Zabou BREITMAN & Eléa GOBBE-MEVELLEC (France/ Luxembourg)
The Death of Carturan by Liviu SANDULESCU (Romania)
Slovenia, Australia and Tomorrow the World by Marko NABERSNIK (Slovenia)
The Whale by Andrea PALLAORO (Italy/ France/ Belgium)
When my Father Became a Bush by Nicole VAN KILSDONK (The Netherlands)
Zombillenium by Arthur DE PINS & Alexis DUCORD (France/ Belgium)
 
The Venice Film Market (3rd – 8th September 2015) of the 72nd Venice International Film Festival will partner and strengthen the Industry Office, which in turn will continue to function as it has in past years throughout the entire Venice Film Festival, offering many services to its guests.
The 2014 edition of the festival clearly showed a very positive increase in the number of professionals attending the market, with 261 key distributors and 66 key sales agents. In addition, some 1,500 professionals,  including producers, film commissions and institutions, exhibitors, film festivals etc, coming from 57 countries, attended the Venice Film Market.

 The general feedback from the industry is that this Market is the perfect place for networking, and fits seamlessly with the programming of the festival, proving that Venice is once again becoming a rendezvous to add to the professional agenda.
 

72nd Venice Film Festival- Two Italian Films Chosen for the International Critics’ Week

Adriano Valerio's "Banat" (Il viaggio)

The program for the 30th edition of the International Critics’ Week (SIC), an independent section of the Venice International Film Festival, was announced in Rome.

There will be seven films total, all of which will be global premieres. Those seven will be in competition while another three films will be shown out of competition. The week will end with Italian film "Bagnoli Jungle" by Antonio Capuano.

According to the General Delegate Francesco Di Pace, in 1991, Critics’ Week was won by Antonio Capuano’s film "Vito and the Others". Twenty-four years later, Capuano returns to SIC with his latest film, Bagnoli Jungle, "the umpteenth example of his expressive freedom and courage".

Di Pace also explained that the opening and closing film themes are "Families on rocky ground, teenage unease and parental conflict, generations that come to blows not only in private but in the political sphere too, disorientation caused by the economic crisis that triggers people to make radical choices in their lives. This year the seven films being shown in competition will be accompanied, in an unexpected turn of events, by another, pre-opening, film, a powerful piece lasting 4 hours and 40 minutes entitled Jia (The Family)".

Below is the complete list of films that will be shown in SIC:



In competition



Ana yurdu (Motherland)

by Senem Tuzen - Turkey, Greece 2015 / 98’



Banat (Il viaggio)

by Adriano Valerio - Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia 2015 / 82’



Kalo Pothi (The Black Hen)

by Min Bahadur Bham - Nepal, France, Germany 2015 / 86’



Light Years

by Esther May Campbell - United Kingdom 2015 / 90'



Montanha

by João Salaviza - Portugal, France 2015 / 100'



The Return

by Green Zeng - Singapore 2015 / 80'



Tanna 
by Martin Butler, Bentley Dean - Australia, Vanuatu 2015 / 104'



Special events – out of competition



Jia (The Family)

by Liu Shumin - China, Australia 2015 / 280'
Pre-opening film



Orphans
by Peter Mullan - United Kingdom 1998 / 95'
Opening film



Bagnoli Jungle 
by Antonio Capuano - Italy 2015 / 100'

Closing film

 

72nd Venice Film Festival- Saverio Costanzo will Chair Two Juries

Italian filmmaker Saverio Costanzo and American director Jonathan Demme were just chosen as the chairs of two of the juries at the 72nd Venice Film Festival, which will take place this year 2-12 September. The two filmmakers will chair the Horizons section and the Lion of the Future - Laurentiis Prize for a First Film.
  
Saverio Costanzo wrote and directed the multi-award winning 2014 film, Hungry Hearts. His fourth feature film, "Hungry Hearts was presented in competition at last year's Venice Film Festival, where it won both Volpi Cups: for Best Actress (Alba Rohrwacher) and Best Actor (Adam Driver). "Hungry Hearts" also earned seven nominations for the David di Donatello Award.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

"Basilicata: Terra di Cinema" - Nicola Bisceglia's Own Basilicata Coast to Coast

If your origins are Italian, then there is a good chance they began in Basilicata. Located in southern Italy, nestled between the coastal regions of Campania, Puglia and Calabria, a great number of immigrants left this territory during the boom of the early 20th century due to the lack of work and poor infrastructure. One young director from that region is about to embark on a cinematic journey that will give you the chance to see where your relatives came from, its centuries-long evolution and the land in which it has become today.

The filmmaker, Nicola Bisceglia of Vulture Video and Communication, was born and raised in Venosa, a beautiful town in Basilicata known for its Aglianico grape, which produces a renowned wine. He recently started a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to produce this film. We receive requests all the time to help young filmmakers realize their dreams through crowdfunding. We usually promote these projects with a link on our Twitter account, but we feel that this project will be an important contribution not only to Italians but also to us Italian-Americans who want to know the story of where our families came from. So we are dedicating some time and effort to help get this film made.

I asked Bisceglia to explain the nuts and bolts of this project, so he sent me a few commonly asked questions and answers which explain the plot and purpose of the film.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Italian Phenomenon of Young Actor- Mirko Trovato and "Braccialetti Rossi"


Over the last six months or so, while researching different subjects, I keep seeing this name- Mirko Trovato. It happened a few times this week, so I decided to do some investigating. What I found seems to be Italy's equivalent to Justin Bieber. However, upon a closer look, this kid seems like a real down-to-earth sweetheart and I believe that he has potential to do something great with his career in television and cinema.

At just 16-years-old, Mirko Trovato has apparently become a household name in Italy. He has a starring on role on one of the country's most popular television series, Braccialetti Rossi. The television series began in January of 2014 and has become a favorite among Italian teenagers. When I interviewed actress, Anna Ferruzzo, who plays the hospital psychologist, she gave me her thoughts on why the show has become so popular, explaining that it's the "Italian version of the Spanish television series Poiseres Vermelles". Inspired by the true story of the Spanish writer, Albert Espinosa, the series tells the stories of a group of young patients in a cancer hospital. Their friendship and love helps them to face and overcome the tragedy of disease and death. Ferruzzo feels the series has become so successful because before the series, no one on Italian television dared to talk about these important and uncomfortable issues of illness and death of young people. Braccialetti Rossi has shown that you can tell any story, even the most difficult, as long as you face it with grace, respect and truth.



The name of Trovato's character is Davide, with his nickname being Il bello. On describing his experience working on the show, Trovato calls it a "great adventure that has given me so many emotions, satisfactions and created so many memories." He goes on to say, "I've met so many people that I am very fond of. My character is a bit 'hard and grumpy, but basically sensible. I have fun while I work, and the best thing is living my dream."

According to Trovato's biography on RAI Television's website, he was born in Rome on  February 13, 1999. He lives in the Roman comune, Pomezia, with his parents and older sister. In his spare time, he likes to draw, play soccer, swim and experiment in computer science. Braccialetti Rossi is his first television experience. He said that he auditioned for the role 8 times before receiving the good news that he got it. On fame, he said that he's had to change his cell phone number twice and had to shut down his Facebook page because it became too overwhelming to handle. However, he enjoys stopping to talk with his fans and signing autographs.

Like most child stars, he will probably find it challenging to land the right roles that will bridge his career from teen idol to character actor, but hopefully he'll have the right guidance to do it. In the meantime, he's part of a beautiful, ground-breaking show that has brought to light the plights of so many young, beautiful souls. I can imagine that for the children that are dealing with cancer and disease, it must give them comfort to watch Braccialetti Rossi, knowing they are not alone in their battles. That aspect is a wonderful gift this young actor has been able to give through his work on this show.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Shooting starts on Rocco Papaleo’s new film

Filming has just started for Onda su OndaRocco Papaleo’s new film. As opposed to Basilicata coast to coast which were both set in Southern Italy, the actor, director and screenwriter has chosen to set his third film in South America: filming is set to continue up until the end of September in Montevideo (Uruguay) and Italy. Starring in the film alongside the director will be Alessandro Gassman, whom the former already directed in his debut film.
  
Ruggero (Gassman) is a lonely chef and Gegè (Papaleo) is a lively singer, who must get to Montevideo for a concert, an unmissable opportunity for him to get his career back on track. Initially there’s bad blood between the two men, but an unexpected turn of events forces them to become friends. They are welcomed in the Uruguayan capital by a woman, Gilda Mandarino (played by Argentinian actress Luz Cipriota), who is organising the concert. But not everything goes to plan… in Montevideo the lives and destinies of the two men, who are different but share the same common desire to be reborn, become intertwined.

Written by Papaleo with his faithful colleague Valter Lupo and Federica Pontremoli, Onda su Onda is being produced by Indiana Production with Less Is More Produzioni and Warner Bros Entertainment Italia. The film will be released on 18 February 2016 by Warner Bros Pictures.

By Vittoria Scarpa for Cineuropa

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