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Turturro grooves to Naples’ music

Actor to direct 'Social Club'-like feature film

ROME — John Turturro will direct a “Buena Vista Social Club”-like feature celebrating the contempo Neapolitan music scene.

Turturro announced the project on Wednesday in Naples, where classic songs such as “O Sole Mio” and “Volare” have segued into vibrant local forms of jazz, blues, rock and rap, fusing local sounds with African and American influences.

“I want to do in Naples what Wim Wenders did in Cuba with ‘Buena Vista,’ ” Turturro told the local press.

Italy’s Istituto Luce, producer Luigi Musini (“Miracle at St. Anna”) and pubcaster RAI will be among co-producers of Turturro’s as-yet-untitled project.

Germany’s Beta Cinema has acquired world sales. The Campania region and local tourism board APT will also contribute coin.

Luce topper Luciano Sovena told Daily Variety that “the idea is to premiere it at a major festival, probably Berlin.”

Turturro will start shooting in June in Naples, southern Italy’s cultural and artistic hot spot. Its hopping music scene is rooted both in its Mediterranean melting pot DNA and in the Yank riffs brought by U.S. military stationed in the port city since the 1950s.

Turturro has another, previously announced, Naples-based project in the works, a film adaptation of the Eduardo de Filippo play “Souls of Naples,” which he starred in Off Broadway.

Turturro is penning the screenplay for “Souls,” which Domenico Procacci (“Gomorrah”) will produce.

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