×

Cannes: Matteo Garrone’s ‘Dogman’ Sells Widely Prior to Premiere (EXCLUSIVE)

ROME — Italy’s Rai Com has scored a slew of sales on director Matteo Garrone’s revenge drama “Dogman” ahead of its Cannes competition world premiere.

Dubbed an “urban Western,” Garrone’s return to smaller-scale Italian-language filmmaking after his English-language fantasy “Tale of Tales,” is inspired by a homicide committed by a coked-out dog groomer during the late 1980s in the gangland outside Rome (see poster).

The case, involving hours of torture in a dog cage, is considered among the most gruesome in Italian postwar history, a subject matter considered somewhat similar to his naturalistic 2008 Neapolitan mob pic “Gomorrah.”

Garrone’s hotly anticipated gritty drama has been snapped up by Alamode (Germany and Austria), M2  (Poland), Karma Films (Spain), Midas Filmes (Portugal), Feelgood Entertainment (Greece), A-One (Russia) and Mcf Megacom Film (former Yugoslavia). Further distributors are Cineart (Benelux), Feelgood Entertainment (Greece), and Time-in-Portrait Entertainment (China).

Buyers for these companies saw a “Dogman” promo at the European Film Market in Berlin, not the completed film, said Rai Com Head of International Distribution David Bogi.

Garrone’s own Archimede Films produced “Dogman” with financing from Rai Cinema and Le Pacte, which will distribute in France. The producers are Garrone and Le Pacte chief Jean Labadie. HanWay, the company founded by British producer Jeremy Thomas, has U.K. rights while Rai Cinema’s 01 Distribution will release it in Italy.

In his director’s statement, Garrone underlined that “Dogman” is inspired by the brutal homicide committed by the dog groomer “but does not intend in any way to reconstruct the facts in the way in which it is said that they took place.” 

Garrone started working on the screenplay twelve years ago. During this time “I picked it up again many times, trying to adapt it to the changes in my own life,” he said.

In the statement Garrone added that a year ago he met Italian actor Marcello Fonte who “with his humanity made it clear to me how I could tackle such violent and dark material.” 

Fonte plays the small and gentle dog groomer, named Marcello, who becomes involved in a dangerous “relationship of intimidation” with a former violent boxer named Simone, played by Edoardo Pesce (“Pure Hearts”) who bullies the entire neighborhood. In an effort to reaffirm his dignity, Marcello exacts an unexpected act of vengeance, according to promotional materials.

 

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality

    Australia Makes Progress on Gender Equality in Film and TV

    Screen Australia, Australia’s federal film and TV funding body, has made sufficient progress in furthering gender equality that it has set more ambitious targets. The organization has exceeded its long-term Gender Matters key performance indicator, with 56% of projects receiving production funding having at least half of the key creative roles occupied by women, based [...]

  • Pawel Pawlikowski, during the ceremony award

    Pawel Pawlikowski on the Power of Making Movies With ‘Barbarians at the Gate’

    Academy Award winner Pawel Pawlikowski says he’s watching “with horror” as political developments increasingly divide countries across the globe, and admits that he’s reluctant to take a stab at documenting modern life after the success of his two critically acclaimed period dramas, foreign-language Oscar winner “Ida” and thrice-nominated “Cold War.” “I don’t have a hook [...]

  • Jessica Chastain Lupita Nyongo

    Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong'o Spy Thriller '355' Gets 2021 Release Date

    Universal Pictures has dated its spy thriller “355,” starring Jessica Chastain, Lupita Nyong’o, Diane Kruger and Fan Bingbing, for a Jan. 15, 2021, release. Simon Kinberg is set to direct from a script he co-wrote with Theresa Rebeck. The movie follows a group of spies from international agencies around the world. These women must bond [...]

  • Florenc Papas on Road Movies, Ancient

    ‘Open Door’ Helmer on Road Movies, Ancient Traditions, Social Pretensions

    Albanian director Florenc Papas, an alumnus of the Sarajevo Talents program, is in competition at the Sarajevo Film Festival with his feature film debut, “Open Door.” The road movie follows two sisters, Rudina and the pregnant and unmarried Elma, who embarks on a journey to visit their strict and traditional father in the remote mountain [...]

  • Dronningen/Queen of HeartsDirected by MAY EL-TOUKHYNordisk

    'Queen of Hearts,' 'White, White Day' Among Nordic Council Film Prize Contenders

    HAUGESUND, Norway  —  Iceland’s “A White, White Day,” Denmark’s “Queen of Hearts” and Norway’s “Blind Spot” are among the five films that will compete for this year’s Nordic Council Film Prize, a prestigious film award aimed at promoting Nordic co-operation and environmental initiatives. Sweden’s “Reconstructing Utøya” and Finland’s “Aurora” help round out the list, which [...]

  • Actor Javier Bardem looking at chinstrap

    Javier Bardem on Toronto-Bound ‘Sanctuary,’ See Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)

    MADRID  — Just selected as a Special Event at September’s Toronto Film Festival, Alvaro Longoria’s “Sanctuary.” starring and produced by Javier Bardem, may need a new ending. On Aug. 19, Bardem, along with Greenpeace, addressed delegates at the United Nations in New York to urge governments to agree to a strong Global Ocean Treaty. Creating [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content