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Depardieu accepts an ‘Invitation’

Thesp cast in Calopresti pic

CANNES — Italo helmer Mimmo Calopresti, whose Steven Spielberg-produced Holocaust docu “Volevo solo vivere” (I Just Wanted to Live) will unspool in Cannes out-of competish on Tuesday, has secured Gerard Depardieu for his new feature.

With the working-title “L’invito” (The Invitation), Calopresti’s pic revolves around budding Italian filmmakers who go to Cannes seeking a star for their first project. Calopresti will start shooting outtakes for the pic on the Croisette next week.

Screenplay is co-penned by Calopresti with Monica Zapelli (“The One Hundred Steps”). The rest of the cast is being finalized.

Istituto Luce is co-producing with Calopresti’s Gage shingle and Luciano Martino’s Dania Film.

Gallic sales company Celluloid Dreams will handle international sales.

Calopresti, who served on the 2001 Cannes jury, will begin principal photography on “The Invitation” in July in his native southern Calabria region, before moving to Rome’s Cinecitta Studios.

Financed by the Shoa Foundation, “Volevo solo vivere,” recounts the experiences of Italians who survived Auschwitz. Docu will be released in Italy by O1 Distribuzione this summer. Calopresti’s previous pics include “Happiness Costs Nothing” and “The Word Love Exists.”

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