ROME — In an uncommonly bleak season for Italian productions, the unexpected success of director Silvio Soldini’s medium-budget comedy “Bread and Tulips” has given the local film sector cause for celebration.
After sweeping the national David di Donatello film awards last week and taking nine statues including best film, director, actress, actor, supporting actress, supporting actor and screenplay, the comedy about a restless housewife who takes a vacation from her family and finds freedom and love in Venice saw a remarkable 49% increase in business over the Easter weekend.
Now in its eighth week, the film has achieved sleeper status thanks to warm reviews and strong word of mouth. It has a current cume of $1.75 million on 49 screens and is expected to pass the $2 million mark this weekend.
Domestic distributor and co-producer Istituto Luce says it has been inundated with requests from exhibitors to run the film, which now is in the process of crossing over from urban arthouse audiences to reach a wider public outside the key cities.
Luce is striking more prints to expand the release Friday to about 130 screens, and is confident that the film will continue performing through May, when it will receive an additional jolt of media attention surrounding its international premiere in the Directors Fortnight at Cannes.
The Italian-Swiss co-production is being sold internationally at Cannes by Rome-based company Adriana Chiesa Enterprises.