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New Italian Cinema Standouts Comprise Female-Led Western ‘My Body Will Bury You’ (EXCLUSIVE)

Four female Italian bandits known as “Le Drude” are the protagonists of “My Body Will Bury You” a Sicily-set revenge drama/Western set in 1860 that is among standout titles presented to prospective buyers and sales agents during the Rome MIA market’s What’s Next Italy showcase.

This second feature by Giovanni La Parola, whose bittersweet comedy debut “E se domani” won some prizes and critical accolades, is loosely based on the director’s research about the period when Garibaldi in his effort to unify Italy invaded Sicily, then a lawless territory where gangs of female rebels formed. Footage of the film (pictured) revealed a genre-bender that mixes period costumer, Western, and action tropes. The trigger-happy killer among the four fierce women — who have joined forces to avenge cruelties that they, and others, have been subjected to — is played by Sicilian actress Margareth Made who emerged in Giuseppe Tornatore’s “Baaria.” Italy’s Cinemaundici and Ascent Film, are producing and France’s Urban Distribution International is handling international sales. 

Other standouts in the 12-title What’s Next Italy showcase — which had not previously been announced internationally — include animation project “Hope,” centered around Hope Savage, the Beat Generation muse originally from South Carolina who travelled across India with Allen Ginsberg during the 1960s and from then vanished off-the-radar. Young first-timer Francesco Filippini, who has worked with U.S. indie animation legend Bill Plympton, will direct “Hope” which is being produced by Naples-based Mad Entertainment, the prominent shingle behind “Cinderella The Cat.” 

Another promising Italian animation project launched from MIA is pacifist tale “Bartali’s Bycicle” which takes its cue from iconic Italian cycling champion Gino Bartali who saved hundreds of Jews from Nazi persecution. The project, being mounted by Italy’s Lynx Multimedia Factory, is written by Israel Cesare Moscati with Enrico Paolantonio (“Egyxos”) set as artistic director.

Expanding Italian production shingle Groenlandia (“The First King”) presented dramedy “The Champion” in which a young super-talented but unruly Italian soccer star, who plays for Serie-A team A.S. Roma, is assigned as his personal tutor a shy professor played by Italian A-lister Stefano Accorsi (“Italian Race”). “Champion,” now in post, is directed by Italian first-timer Leonardo D’Agostini. Catia Rossi who heads Italy’s True Colors, which is handling international sales, underlined that it is not a “soccer movie,” but rather a human-dynamics drama marbled with a comic streak set against a soccer backdrop.

Domenico Procacci’s Fandango presented “Bangla” a Rome-set interracial romancer with a catchy twist in which a 22-year-old Muslim man from a Bangladeshi family falls in love with an Italian young woman but must reconcile his love for her with the most unbreakable rule of Islam: no sex before wedding night. “Bangla” is directed by first-timer Phaim Bhuiyan who emerged in Italy on YouTube. Pic is being sold by Fandango sales.

Below is the full list of What’s Next Italy titles in alphabetical order

“Bangla,” by Phaim Bhuiyan. Production and sales: Fandango

“Bartali’s Bicycle,” by Enrico Paolantonio. Production: Lynx Multimedia Factory

“The Champion,” by Leonardo D’Agostini. Production: Groenlandia, Rai Cinema. Sales: True Colours

“Dieci Giorni Senza La Mamma,” by Alessandro Genovesi. Production: Colorado Film

“Flesh Out,” by Michela Occhipinti. Production: Vivo Film, Rai Cinema, Macs Productions. Sales: Films Boutique

“Freaks Out,” by Gabriele Mainetti. Production: Lucky Red, Goon Films, Rai Cinema, Gap Busters. Sales: Rai Com, True Colors.

“The Great Spirit,” by Sergio Rubini. Production: Fandango, Rai Cinema. Sales: Fandango

“Hope,” by Francesco Filippini. Production: Mad Entertainment

“The Finch Thief,” by Carlo Luglio. Production: Figli Del Bronx, Minerva Film, Rai Cinema. Sales: Minerva

“My Body Will Bury You,” by Giovanni La Parola. Production: Cinemaundici, Ascent Film, Rai Cinema. Sales: UDI

“Volare,” by Gabriele Salvatores. Production: Indiana Production, Rai Cinema. Sales: Rai Com

“The First Day of My Life,” by Paolo Genovese. Production: Lotus, Medusa.

 

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