Salvatore Esposito, the Italian star who plays young mob boss Genny Savastano in Italy’s hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will soon be hitting the big screen toplining upcoming drama “The Stonebreaker” by twin directorial duo Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio, who are known internationally for “Seven Acts of Mercy.”
The De Serio twins are now in post on “Stonebreaker” in which Esposito plays Giuseppe an exploited laborer in Italy’s South contending with raising his young son after the sudden death of the kid’s mother who is also Giuseppe’s wife.
The twist is that Giuseppe, who is blind in one eye, promises his son that his mother will come back from the dead. He must find a way to keep this promise.
Producer Alessandro Borrelli, who presented the pic to buyers in the What’s Next Italy section at Rome’s MIA market, says “Stonebreaker” combines strong social and father-and-son drama elements with the twin directors’ distinctive tone and vision. “Stonebreaker” is expected to hit the international festival circuit next year.
The director of photography is France’s Antoine Héberlé, a Lumiere Award prizewinner for Stéphane Brizé’s “A Woman’s Life.” The film’s editor is Italy’s Stefano Cravero (“Nico, 1988”).
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“Seven Acts of Mercy,” which was the De Serios’ debut feature, made a splash on the festival circuit after premiering in competition in Locarno in 2011. The twins were subsequently at Venice in 2016 with the doc “River Memories,” about one of the largest shanty towns in Europe, on the banks of the river Stura in Turin.
“Stonebreaker” was shot in Italy’s Apulia region on Italy’s heel, areas of which are know for the exploitation of mostly migrant field workers, an underworld the film explores in depth and which is also key to its aesthetic. Pic is co-produced by Borrelli’s La Sarraz Pictures and France’s Shellac Sud (“Martin Eden”) with support from RAI Cinema and the Apulia Film Commission.