Italian director Roberta Torre, known for campy Mafia musical “Tano to Die For” and other anarchic pics, is making “Le Favolose,” about a group of transgender women who reunite after 20 years to commemorate a dead friend and do right by her after her identity has been violated.
“Le Favolose,” which translates as “The Fabulous Ones,” is being produced by Donatella Palermo, who is at the Berlinale with auteur Paolo Taviani’s competition entry “Leonora Addio.”
Palermo, who has a longstanding rapport with Torre, is the Italian producer behind two Berlin Golden Bear winners: the Taviani brothers’ “Caesar Must Die” and Gianfranco Rosi’s “Fire at Sea.”
“When a person decides to face the [gender] transition from man to woman it can be a very painful process in several different ways: social, physical, etc.,” said Palermo, who notes that “when a trans dies, most of the time their body is returned to their families.”
Torre’s new pic is based on a real-life story of Antonia, one of the “Fabulous Ones,” who is buried by her family dressed as a man under her original name, Giampaolo, amid the indifference of most. “Everything she did becomes denied and this is happening in Italian cemeteries and other cemeteries around the world,” said Palermo, adding that for Antonia and others like her “this means losing a very important part of their lives.”
Torre, who often works with non-professional actors, met a group of trans friends who told her what they did to help a friend whose dead body had ended up in this situation, and she decided to make a film about it, in which “The Fabulous Ones” star as themselves (first look image, above).
The film, now in final stages of editing, mixes documentary and fiction, “captures very moving and fun moments,” said Palermo, and features music in Torre’s signature style. Palermo is producing “Le Favolose” through her Stemal shingle with RAI Cinema.