Alba Rohrwacher, Toni Servillo, Silvio Orlando set for Prison Drama from Italy’s Tempesta (EXCLUSIVE)

Italian producer Carlo Cresto Dina
Simona Pampallona/Courtesy Tempesta

Italian A-listers Alba Rohrwacher (“Happy as Lazzaro”), Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”) and Silvio Orlando (“The Young Pope”) are set to star in a high-profile prison drama to be directed by Leonardo di Costanzo, who is best known for social-realist drama “The Intruder.”

Di Costanzo crossed over from documentary to feature filmmaking first with “The Interval,” which went to Venice, and then with “The Intruder” which in 2017 made a splash in Cannes. His latest project is working-titled “Dall’Interno” (From the Inside). 

Producer Carlo Cresto–Dina (pictured) describes “From the Inside” as “an important step in the journey” that his Tempesta film company is making with Di Costanzo, going from narrative documentaries and fiction films featuring non-pro actors, to what is now the director’s first film with a star-studded cast.

“Like all of Leonardo’s movies this one takes place in a confined space, which is a jail,” Cresto-Dina told Variety. And as was also the case with Di Costanzo’s previous works “it has the pace of a Greek tragedy,” he added. Though plot details are being kept under wraps, Cresto-Dina also pointed out that “From the Inside” “will not be a sociological film on jail” but rather “a drama about two destinies that intersect in a conflict inside the jail.”

Cresto-Dina said the cast also includes Fabrizio Ferracane, winner of Italy’s Nastri d’Argento award for supporting actor in “The Traitor,” who will be working with a group of non-pros selected and trained by casting agent and acting coach Alessandra Cutolo, who worked on “The Intruder.”

The film’s cinematographer is Paolo Sorrentino’s regular director of photography Luca Bigazzi (“The Great Beauty,” “The Young Pope”), who previously worked with di Costanzo on “The Interval.”

“From the Inside” is being co-produced by Tempesta with Italy’s RAI Cinema, Switzerland, RSI Televisione della Svizzera Italiana TV, and France’s CNC Cinéma du Monde.

A six-week shoot is expected to start in November, though a location has yet to be confirmed.

What’s certain, however, is that the film will be shot using the EcoMuvi eco-friendly protocol devised by Tempesta, based on a study involving experts on environmental sustainability film and TV business professionals. Cresto-Dina said the protocol, which is free and can be downloaded from the Tempesta website, creates a points system and in turn a certifiable carbon footprint reduction, and can also generate some savings. It also allegedly integrates well with current COVID-19 production protocols.

Tempesta uses EcoMuvi for all productions, which include most recently Rohrwacher’s “Happy as Lazzaro,” the fablelike drama about Italy’s transition from a rural society to modernity, which has been distributed around the world after making a splash at Cannes in 2018.

Cresto-Dina, who has been shepherding Rohrwacher and di Costanzo’s feature films from the outset, stands out among Italian indie producers for his discerning instinct in picking film projects that have consistently clicked on the international fest and arthouse circuit.

“What we try to do is grow emerging talent,” he says. “Our intent is to shepherd films that can be made by young or debuting directors, but that from their inception are conceived as international films.”