×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

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

  • Aladdin

    China Box Office: 'Aladdin' Opens on Top With $19 Million Weekend

    Disney’s “Aladdin” opened on top of the Chinese box office with a less than magical $18.7 million debut weekend. According to data from Artisan Gateway, the film beat previous chart winner “Detective Pikachu” which earned $7.5 million in its third weekend. That score advances the cumulative China total for “Pikachu” to $83.3 million. The Guy [...]

  • 'Nina Wu' Review: Stylish, Glitchy, Provocative

    Cannes Film Review: 'Nina Wu'

    “They don’t just want to take my body, they want to take my soul!” So runs the overripe line of dialogue that actress Nina Wu (Wu Kexi) has to repeat again and again in “Nina Wu,” the fascinating, glitchy, stylish, and troublesome new film from Taiwanese director Midi Z (“The Road to Mandalay”). Nina practices [...]

  • 'All About Yves" Review: Feeble French

    Cannes Film Review: 'All About Yves'

    Benoit Forgeard’s dorky “All About Yves,” bizarrely chosen as the closing film of 2019’s Directors’ Fortnight selection in Cannes, is literally about an intelligent refrigerator that ascends to Eurovision fame as a rapper. Imagine Spike Jonze’s “Her” played for the cheapest of laughs, shorn of atmosphere, and absent all melancholic insight into our relationship with [...]

  • 'The Bare Necessity' Review: Offbeat, Charming

    Cannes Film Review: 'The Bare Necessity'

    A perfectly charmant way to, as the song has it, forget about your worries and your strife for 100 airy minutes, writer-director Erwan le Duc’s “The Bare Necessity” is a breezy little sweetheart of a debut, that threatens to give the rather ominous description “quirky French romantic comedy” a good name. In its dappled countryside [...]

  • Adam

    Cannes Film Review: 'Adam'

    With her debut feature “Adam,” Maryam Touzani allows her audience to sit back and relax comfortably into a beautifully made, character-driven little gem that knows when and how to touch all the right buttons. Taking the stories of two women, both frozen in existential stasis, and bringing them together in a predictable yet deeply satisfying [...]

  • 'To Live to Sing' Review: A

    Cannes Film Review: 'To Live to Sing'

    After his taut, impressive debut “Old Stone” which tracked with nightmarish relentlessness the high cost of compassion in modern urban China, Canadian-Chinese director Johnny Ma loosens his grip a little to deliver a softer, if not necessarily less pessimistic examination of the failing fortunes of a regional Sichuan Opera troupe. “To Live to Sing” is [...]

  • Hugh Jackman Sings Happy Birthday to

    Hugh Jackman Leads Massive One-Man Show Crowd in 'Happy Birthday' for Ian McKellen

    Hugh Jackman may have had to skip Ian McKellen’s birthday party to perform his one-man show, “The Man, The Music, The Show,” but that didn’t mean he couldn’t celebrate his “X-Men” co-star’s 80th. Jackman took a moment at the Manchester Arena Saturday to lead the sold-out audience — some 50,000 strong — in a rendition [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content