×

Toronto: RAI Com Takes World Sales on New Gabriele Salvatores Film (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores is set to shoot a road movie with the working title “Don’t Be Afraid If I Hug You,” which involves a father and his autistic son on the run. Pic stars Italian A-listers Claudio Santamaria (“They Call Me Jeeg”) and Valeria Golino.

RAI Com has boarded and will kick off world sales in Toronto. Salvatores’ new pic will start shooting this month.

Based on a widely translated bestseller by Italy’s Fulvio Ervas — which was inspired by a true story — “Don’t Be Afraid” is penned by Umberto Contarello (“The Great Beauty”). Santamaria will play a boozing lounge singer who accidentally intersects with his teen autistic son, whom he has never met before. He has an epiphany and decides to hit the road with him in an attempt to fight his son’s autism. They are chased by the boy’s mother (Golino) and her husband.

“They get to know each other along the trip,” Salvatores said in a statement describing the pic as a “picaresque road movie.” It starts in Italy’s East and winds up “in the deserted streets of the Balkans.” The protagonists “will reach a deep and important” place, “coming to terms with themselves” and “dealing with their own life and their role as parent and son,” the director noted.

Salvatores, who won the foreign-language film Oscar for “Mediterraneo” in 1991, more recently helmed teen superhero franchise “The Invisible Boy” parts 1 and 2.

“Don’t Be Afraid If I Hug You” is being produced by Marco Cohen, Fabrizio Donvito and Benedetto Habib of Indiana Production, in partnership with RAI Cinema and EDI. Indiana’s latest titles include Paolo Virzì’s road movie “The Leisure Seeker,” starring Helen Mirren and Donald Sutherland.

More Film

  • EMMA APPLETON as FEEF SYMONDS

    'Traitors' Producer 42 Hires Literary Manager Eugenie Furniss

    Eugenie Furniss is joining London- and Los Angeles-based management and production company 42 as literary manager, it was announced Wednesday. The company’s slate include movie “Ironbark,” a Cold War thriller starring Benedict Cumberbatch, and TV series “Traitors,” a spy thriller coming to Netflix in the U.S. at the end of the month. Furniss joins 42 [...]

  • Brad Pitt Leonardo DiCaprio Once Upon

    Quentin Tarantino's 'Once Upon a Time in Hollywood' Trailer Drops

    The first trailer for Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” is finally here. The highly anticipated film, starring Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio, is set to be released on July 26. Tarantino, who wrote the script and will also direct and produce the movie, was inspired by his own upbringing in the midst [...]

  • One-Cut-Of-The-Dead-Review

    Japanese Sleeper Hit ‘One Cut of the Dead’ Heads for English Remake (EXCLUSIVE)

    “One Cut of the Dead,” a micro-budget horror film that last year defied the odds to become one of the biggest hits of the year in Japan, is headed for an English-language remake. Patrick Cunningham, a Japan-based American producer whose credits include “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Starlet,” is behind the venture. The original film, [...]

  • Come as You Are review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Come as You Are'

    The rare remake that’s actually a slight improvement on its predecessor, Richard Wong’s “Come as You Are” translates Geoffrey Enthoven’s 2011 Belgian “Hasta la Vista” to middle America. Other changes are less substantial, but this seriocomedy has a less formulaic feel than the original while remaining a crowd-pleasing buddy pic-caper with a soft-pedaled minority empowerment [...]

  • Strange Negotiations review

    SXSW Film Review: 'Strange Negotiations'

    In a era when some mainstream entertainers have transitioned to targeting faith-based audiences, David Bazan is moving in the other direction. The gifted songwriter’s ersatz band Pedro the Lion was perhaps the most successful Christian indie rock act of its time, and the first to significantly cross over to secular fans. Then he ditched that persona (and [...]

  • Bluebird review

    SXSW Film Review: ‘Bluebird’

    As affectionate as a love letter but as substantial as an infomercial, Brian Loschiavo’s “Bluebird” may be of most interest to casual and/or newly converted country music fans who have occasionally wondered about the songwriters behind the songs. There’s a better than even-money chance that anyone who’s a loyal and longtime aficionado of the musical [...]

  • ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad

    ‘Wonder Park’ Tops Studios’ TV Ad Spending for the Fourth Week in a Row

    In this week’s edition of the Variety Movie Commercial Tracker, powered by the TV advertising attention analytics company iSpot.tv, Paramount Pictures claims the top spot in spending for the fourth week in row with “Wonder Park.” Ads placed for the animated film had an estimated media value of $5.18 million through Sunday for 1,718 national [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content