On Monday October 14th at 8:30 pm, the Rome Film Fest will enter the concert hall of the Teatro dell'Opera for the world premiere screening of La prima donna, the new documentary film by Tony Saccucci starring Licia Maglietta. The screening is part of the programme of pre-opening events taking place ahead of the 14th Rome Film Fest, which will be held October 17 - 27, 2019.
Extremely popular yet innovative at the same time, a fearless, free and emancipated spirit, at a young age she demonstrated a character that allowed her to hold her own against her older colleagues and the competition of other theatres, including the feared maximum authority Maestro Arturo Toscanini and the head of the new regime, Benito Mussolini. This was a lot, and maybe even too much for a woman in that era. After reaching the apex of consideration in the public eye, during the Fascist period Emma Carelli soon came under fire from the private and political spheres. In 1926, the Government suddenly dismissed her as the director of her theatre, because – reads a report written by the Fascist secret police – "as a woman she has developed an independent character that leads to her to feel superior to everyone else". As Italy headed towards the authoritarian regime, Carelli witnessed the end of her theatre, her marriage, her role as a protagonist of the musical world. She died a terrible death in 1928, the year that broke all records in the history of Italy for the number of suicides by women.
La prima donna by Tony Saccucci – produced by the Istituto Luce-Cinecittà in collaboration with the Teatro dell'Opera di Roma – tells this story of inequality and violence against women relying on never seen before original documents, texts, photographs and audio recordings, valuable images from important national and foreign archives - first and foremost the immense Luce Historic Archives – and silent films used as narrative material. All of this is edited with original footage shot inside the temple of the Teatro dell'Opera in Rome, where Emma Carelli is played by Italian outstanding actress Licia Maglietta.