Helmer prepping doc on peacekeeping forces dies

TURIN — Italian filmmaker Stefano Rolla was among victims killed in Wednesday’s car bomb attack at an Italian military compound in Nasiriya, Iraq.

Rolla, 65, was in Iraq to prepare a documentary about peacekeeping forces.

Project, being developed for Rome’s Gabbiano Film, was meant to follow “Clown in Kabul,” the Enzo Balestrieri-directed docu about Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams’ travels to post-Taliban Afghanistan. Produced by Rolla, “Clown” unspooled as a special event at the Venice Film Festival in 2002.

The massive conflagration caused by a gasoline truck explosion after it crashed through a fence surrounding the compound killed 18 Italians and nine Iraqis. Rolla was found dead shortly after the blast. His assistant, Aureliano Amadei, survived with a foot injury.

Rolla started out in the industry as an assistant director in 1971 on Giuliano Montaldo’s “Sacco e Vanzetti” and worked as a.d. on Sergio Leone’s “My Name Is Nobody” and Dario Argento’s “Profondo Rosso.” He went on to direct several features, including “Bugie bianche” (White Lies) and “Professione figlio.” More recently he had turned to producing.

Rolla is survived by his wife and two children.

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