True Colours, a top Italian sales agent, has acquired world sales rights to “Puntasacra,” one of 14 feature-length documentaries selected for main international competition at Switzerland’s prestigious – and now online – Visions du Réel Festival in Nyon.
The deal, one of the most important to go down on a title at Vision du Réel reteams True Colours with “Puntasacra” director Francesca Mazzoleni after the sales agents handled sales on her 2017 fiction feature debut, “That’s Life” (Succede).
Produced by Alessandro Greco at Morel Film, “Puntasacra” portrays the inhabitants of the last triangle of habitable land at the mouth of the Tiber, Punta Sacra, and the community of its Idroscalo di Ostia through protagonist Franca’s all-female family, which drives the stories in the film of a community which saw half of its houses destroyed in a fire in 2010. Now only a few hundred families remain, a communist on the verge if extinction, which, as their kids run free playing around wrecked cars and on the seawall, proclaims its wish and right not to leave.
Shot over six weeks between late 2018 and May 2019, “Puntasacra” marks Mazzoleni’s return to Ostia where seven years ago, she shot one of her first works, a short when studying at Rome’s Experimental Cinematography Centre. It triggered something inside me and, as is often the case in this line of work, I felt compelled to spend months there exploring humankind and politics,” she says in a director’s statement.
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“Puntasacra” “aims to show the other side of a complex place which, for many years, was only ever associated with Pasolini’s death as well as decay and crime films,” she adds.
“I strove to capture the Idroscalo’s true stories, the very core of Punta Sacra: Lives on the edge, like the very place where they play out. Freedom, precariousness, resilience and redemption are their driving themes,” Mazzoleni added, noting that “Slowly but surely, the community joined in on the project. Their response was huge; they had such a compelling urge to talk about themselves and to give voice to words which, for many years, had always gone through a filter.”
“We have been struck by the visual power and the unique reality portrayed in ‘Puntasacra,’” said Gaetano Maiorino, True Colours managing director and head of acquisitions. “We believe this local story of women, resistance and hope for the future can be easily translated into a universal message, thanks to Francesca Mazzoleni’s talented work.”
Bowing April 25, Visions du Réel’s international competition plays through May 2, with movies playing to a maximum audience of 500 online viewers.