Prolific Italian director Francesca Comencini (“Gomorrah,” the series “Django”) is set to make a personal feature film that will pay homage to her father Luigi Comencini, the Italian master who made Oscar-nominated Cinema Italiano classic “Bread, Love and Dreams,” with Gina Lollobrigida and Vittorio De Sica.
Francesca’s film, with the working title “First Life, Then Cinema,” is being developed by Kavac Film, the Rome-based shingle of veteran Italian auteur Marco Bellocchio. Bellocchio is being honored in Cannes with a Lifetime Achievement honorary Palme d’Or on July 17.
Bellocchio’s partner in Kavac, producer Simone Gattoni, will be shopping the Comencini project in Cannes.
Best-known for a slew of post-war Commedia all’Italiana hit comedies — including 1972’s “Lo Scopone Scientifico” in which Bette Davis plays an aging millionaire opposite Alberto Sordi — Luigi also ventured into neorealism with, among other titles, “Misunderstood,” which screened in the 1967 Cannes competition, one of the director’s many films concerning the plight of children.
Francesca collaborated with her father as a writer “A Boy From Calabria,” about a 13-year-old boy from an impoverished family with aspirations to become an Olympic athlete, which went to the 1987 Venice Film Festival.
Francesca made her directorial debut in 1984 when she was 23 with the drama “Pianoforte,” which won a prize in Venice. She has since alternated between feature films and documentaries, often with a socio-political focus, and more recently TV series. She directed 15 episodes of the “Gomorrah” skein, which is Italy’s top TV export, and is currently shooting the “Django” series for Sky Studios and Canal Plus.
“First Life, Then Cinema,” will be her next project.
“After so many years of doing the same job as my father and trying to be different from him, I wanted to recount how much I owe everything I am to him: I wanted to pay homage to my father, to his way of making cinema,” Francesca said in a statement for Variety.
“I want to pay homage to his way of being; to the importance that his work and his commitment have had for our cinema,” she added. “To the importance that his person has had for me. Maybe, I said to myself, maybe I’m old enough now and I’m capable of it. Maybe now I’ll be up to telling this story.”