Italian movies are taking a sharper turn towards genre storytelling, though classic auteur titles remain a strong component of the country’s cinematic output. Below is a compendium of standout cinema Italiano projects in various stages.
“Non Mi Uccidere” (“Don’t Kill Me”) Young director Andrea De Sica, who helmed the bulk of teen series “Baby” for Netflix, is set to shoot a horror film geared towards the same youth demographic as the show. It’s based on a bestselling Gothic novel about a 19-year-old named Mirta who, with her older lover, Robin, dies of a drug overdose. She then reanimates alone to find out that in order to continue living, and cherishing the memory of Robin’s love, she must eat living humans. Shooting is expected to start soon. Cast is being contractualized. Pic is the director’s sophomore feature after “Children of the Night,” a coming-of-age story set at an upper-crust boarding school that flirted with horror elements.
“Andrà Tutto Bene” (“Everything’s Gonna Be Alright”) This dramedy, directed by Francesco Bruni, has the rare distinction of having landed a deal for remake rights, with Germany’s DCM Film Intl., even before being released. While one could be forgiven for thinking the title pertains to the coronavirus pandemic, pic is instead about a down-and-out film director who discovers he has a form of leukemia for which he needs a stem cell transplant from a matching donor. Kim Rossi Stuart (“Crime Novel,” “Angel of Evil”) plays the lead. Bruni, who based the story on his own personal fight with an illness, is a prominent Italian screenwriter-turned-director whose directorial debut, “Scialla” (“Chill”), went to Venice in 2011.
“La Bella Estate” Laura Luchetti, who made a splash with 2018 teen runaway drama “Twin Flower,” will soon return behind camera to shoot this adaptation of a collection of three short stories by prominent Italian author Cesare Pavese that share coming-of-age tropes and are set in early postwar Italy. Financing and casting are in their final stages.
“The Life Ahead” Netflix recently acquired global rights to this drama, which marks Sophia Loren’s return to a feature film after a decade’s absence. Directed by her son Edoardo Ponti, “Life Ahead” sees the iconic Italian Oscar-winner playing Madame Rosa, a Holocaust survivor who forges a bond with a 12-year-old Senegalese immigrant boy named Momo. Pic may launch from the Venice Film Festival. The film is an adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel “La vie devant soi,” which was previously adapted for the big screen by Israeli filmmaker Moshe Mizrahi as “Madame Rosa,” starring Simone Signoret. That film won the 1978 foreign-language Oscar.
“Born to be Murdered” Luca Guadagnino produced this thriller — now in post — in which a couple (Alicia Vikander and John David Washington) are vacationing in Greece. They falls into a violent conspiracy with tragic consequences. Ferdinando Cito Filomarino follows his debut feature, “Antonia,” a biopic of Italian poet Antonia Pozzi, with this outing.
“Notturno” Gianfranco Rosi, who won Berlin’s Golden Bear in 2016 for his migration documentary, “Fire at Sea,” and the Venice Golden Lion before that for “Sacro GRA,” about life on the ring road around Rome, is in post on this look at life at night across the Middle East. For the film, Rosi immersed himself in war zones and other Middle East hot spots, as is his modus operandi when filming.
“Voyage in Italy” Oscar-winning Italian director Gabriele Salvatores (“Mediterraneo”) is making this doc chronicling life in Italy during lockdown using material from social media and videos sent to his team by people during the pandemic. RAI Com is selling in Cannes.