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Hammamet by Gianni Amelio. With this surprise project, which makes us think of a film on the former socialist leader Bettino Craxi, Paolo Del Brocco wraps the annual spring meeting with the press, that was held to discuss the last year and what’s new at Rai Cinema. It becomes an occasion to show some pride for the results of the past season. As the Managing Director of Rai Cinema states: “We understood the audience’s exhaustion towards a certain kind of Italian cinema, so we implemented a politics of innovative and creative change, towards a contamination of the genres which will be the future of Italian cinema. We’ve raised the quality bar very high, looking for a balance between mainstream films, young filmmakers and co-productions, without forgetting our institutional duties towards arthouse cinema.”

Production investments in the past three years have been substantial: 210 million Euro (it was just 35 million 7 years ago) for 200 films and 130 documentaries that have been co-produced or financed. Among the objectives of the upcoming months, broadening the offer towards family audiences, in order to “allow Italian cinema to reach again the market quota it deserves.” Del Brocco expresses satisfaction for the results of titles like Nico 1988, Love and Bullets, A Ciambra, Boys Cry, Put Grandma in the Freezer, and Muccino’s Italian comeback, Neverland, which earned over 9 million Euro at the box office.

In the future, a lot of film that deserves attention. Among them, many documentaries with an international vocation such as Aleksandr Sokurov’s Laughter among Tears, Marco Proserpio’s The Man Who Stole Banksy, Massimo D’Anolfi’s and Martina Parenti’s War and Peace, Stefano Savona’s Samouni Road, and Barbara Cupisti’s Womanity. This is just a selection of the documentaries financed by Rai Cinema, which confirms a special attention towards European coproductions, often meant to support big international auteurs. Among them, Asghar Farhadi’s Cannes opener Everybody Knows is coproduced by Rai Cinema and Lucky Red, Andrei Konchalovsky’s The Sin, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi’s Les estivants, Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck’s Work without Author, and Carlo Hinterman’s The Book of Vision produced by Terrence Malick.

Among the work-in-progress titles, Del Brocco announced the new projects by the Manetti Bros., Susanna Nicchiarelli, Gabriele Salvatores, the D’Innocenzo Brothers, Maurizio Zaccaro. The latter has chosen Sergio Castellitto to play Dr. Bartolo, the “angel of the Lampedusa immigrants”, in Tears of Salt, while Marco Bellocchio bets on Pierfrancesco Favino to play the cooperating witness Buscetta in The Traitor.

The long presentation wrapped with some first images from upcoming Italian films. Matteo Garrone’s Dogman looks very convincing: a Pasolinian crime tale of marginality set in the Roman outskirts, loosely inspired by a true story. Among the others, Paolo Virzì’s Magical Nights, Valerio Mieli’s Remember Me?, Valerio Mastandrea’s debut Laugh, Alice Rohrwacher’s Happy as Lazzaro, Matteo Rovere’s Romolus & Remus – The First King spoken in protolatin language, Valeria Golino’s Euphoria, Mario Martone’s Capri-Batterie, and Jonas Carpignano’s A Chiara.

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