The Open Reel has acquired international sales rights to Andrea Adriatico’s “Bitter Years,” which plays at the Rome Film Festival.

The movie, which follows the life of real life LGBT intellectual and activist Mario Mieli, stars Sandra Ceccarelli and Antonio Catania. The screenplay is by Grazia Verasani, Stefano Casi and Adriatico. The film is produced by Saverio Peschechera for Cinemare and Rai Cinema.

Mieli was one of the founders of the Italian Homosexual Liberation Movement, created at the beginning of the 70s. He killed himself in 1983 at the age of 30. He was an activist, intellectual, writer and performer: a key figure on the Italian cultural scene, together with his friends architect Corrado Levi, painter Piero Fassoni, singer Ivan Cattaneo, activist Angelo Pezzana, writer Fernanda Pivano and poet Milo De Angelis.

“He liked to provoke and to be an innovator but, today, his thought has been completely forgotten,” according to a statement. “A son of the upper middle class and second to last of seven children, he spent an entire life having a complicated relationship with his parents, Water and Liderica, and the last years of his life were spent with his lover Umberto Pasti, in a very difficult and intense love story.”

Other cast include Nicola Di Benedetto, Tobia De Angelis, Lorenzo Balducci, Giovanni Cordì, Francesco Martino and Davide Merlini.

Adriatico, a theater director, academic, journalist and film director, made his feature directing debut in 2004 with “The Wind, in the Evening,” which premiered at the Berlinale, and in 2007, his second feature “Andres and Me” played at the London BFI Film Festival. He directed, together with Giulio Maria Corbelli, the 2010 documentary “+o- Il sesso confuso, racconti di mondi nell’era dell’AIDS,” about the AIDS pandemic. He directed another documentary “Torri, checche e tortellini” in 2015.