Filming Italy — Los Angeles Festival Highlights

Nick Vivarelli
·3-min read

The Filming Italy — Los Angeles fest, which runs March 18-21, is a bridgehead between Italy and Hollywood. Here are some of the event’s highlights:

The Life Ahead’ panel
“The Life Ahead” director Edoardo Ponti, which is an Italian Netflix Original, will hold an online conversation with Diane Warren, who wrote the film’s theme song “Io Si (Seen).”

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‘It Was Spring Outside’
This life-in-lockdown doc by Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores will have its U.S. premiere at Filming in Italy after launching at the Rome Film Festival. Using material from social media and cellphone videos sent to Salvatores and other sources, this collective project assembled by the prolific helmer, who won an Academy Award for “Mediterraneo,” provides a tapestry of fresh first-hand accounts of how Italians experienced the coronavirus crisis — from empty piazzas to the heroes on the front lines when the country was among the hardest hit by the first COVID-19 wave.

‘Omelia Contadina’
Alice Rohrwacher presents this short she made with French artist JR, in which a community gathers on the Alfina plateau in central Italy to participate in a symbolic funeral of traditional agriculture, symbolized by a giant piece of land art covered in dust, a monument of sorts to mourn the small farmer. After premiering in Venice, this cinematic call to action against the destruction of agricultural landscapes due to industrial farming, is making its U.S. debut.

‘Caliber 9’
Set in present-day Milan, “Caliber 9” stars Marco Bocci (“Crime Novel”) as a criminal defense lawyer, unlike his criminal father, played by Michele Placido. The plot revolves around a cybercrime scam in which the defrauded company is a money-laundering front for the Calabrian mob. Pic is inspired by cult director Fernando Di Leo’s 1972 noir “Milano Calibro 9.” “Caliber 9” is having its U.S. bow after premiering at the Turin Film Festival. Pic also stars Ksenia Rappoport (“The Unknown Woman”) and Barbara Bouchet playing the same character as the original, albeit 47 years later.

Film industry restart panel
Italian and U.S. film industry execs and talents will discuss the impact of the pandemic on distribution strategies as streaming giants become the big winners. Panelists include prominent directors Carlo Verdone and Francesco Bruni, who both have new films that are awaiting releases, RAI Cinema CEO Paolo Del Brocco and Disney Italia CEO Daniel Frigo.

Tiziano Ferro talks about Amazon Prime Video Italian original doc series ‘Ferro’
Pop star Ferro will be on a panel presenting this docuseries, which follows his career over the past 20 years in Milan, Los Angeles and his native Latina. One of Italy’s best-selling artists, Ferro, besides being a singer, is also a songwriter and producer. He has released a Spanish version of each of his albums, and has also sung in English, Portuguese and French. In 2019 Ferro married his partner, former Warner Bros. consultant Victor Allen, and told the Italian press he considers himself both “gay and Catholic.”

Bella Thorne feted
The U.S. actor, model and influencer, who recently shot director Elisa Amoruso’s English-language teen pic “Time Is Up” in Italy alongside Italian pop star Benjamin Mascolo, will attend a panel and be celebrated with a Filming Italy — Los Angeles Award.

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