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Italian Movies Set to Hit This Year’s Festival Circuit

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Over the past few years Italian cinema has been making strides in the global arena and 2024 looks likely to bolster its international standing. New works by top auteurs Paolo Sorrentino and Luca Guadagnino will be launching from the festival circuit just as a fresh crop of directors comes to fore, starting with Margherita Vicario, whose first film “Gloria!” scored a Berlin competition slot.

Below is a compendium of new Italian movies set to hit this year’s fest circuit.

“Another End” – Gael García Bernal and Renate Reinsve (“The Worse Person in the World”) star as lovers caught in an unusual bind in Italian director Piero Messina’s sci-fi film “Another End” which is competing in Berlin. This second feature by Messina – whose first feature, “The Wait,” launched with a splash in the 2015 Venice competition – is set in a near-future when a new technology exists that can put the consciousness of a dead person back into a living body in an attempt to ease the grief of separation. Sales: Newen Connect

Untitled Paolo Sorrentino Film
This still untitled 10th feature by the Oscar-winning director of “The Great Beauty” is about a woman named Partenope “who bears the name of her city but is neither siren nor myth,” as Sorrentino has cryptically put it. In Greek mythology, Parthenope – as she is known in English – is the name of a siren who, having failed to entice Odysseus with her songs, cast herself into the sea and drowned. Her body washed up on a symbolic foundational rock where Naples lies. Neapolitans in Italy are also known as “Parthenopeans.” The film’s main cast comprises Luisa Ranieri, who played the emotionally troubled aunt Patrizia in “The Hand of God”; Gary Oldman; and Silvio Orlando, who was Cardinal Voiello in “The Young Pope.” Sales: UTA and Fremantle.

“Queer” – Luca Guadagnino’s William S. Burroughs adaptation features Daniel Craig playing the renowned counterculture author’s alter ego, an outcast drugged-out, American expat who lives in Mexico, and “Outer Banks” star Drew Starkey as a younger man, a discharged American Navy serviceman, with whom he becomes madly infatuated. Sales: TBA

“Iddu” – Toni Servillo, who played Roman socialite Jep Gambardella in Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winning “The Great Beauty” and fellow Italian A-lister Elio Germano, star in this drama about Cosa Nostra boss Matteo Messina Denaro, dubbed “the last godfather” directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza (“Sicilian Ghost Story”). The roles respectively being played by Servillo and Elio Germano are being kept under wraps. Sales: TBA

Untitled Gabriele Mainetti Film – Mainetti, known internationally for genre-bending titles “They Call Me Jeeg” and “Freaks vs. the Reich,” has shot a kung fu movie set in Rome’s multi-ethnic Piazza Vittorio quarter. His still untitled third feature sees him riff on martial arts movie tropes, following his fresh takes on a 1970 Japanese cartoon series in “Jeeg,” and then on the Nazi hunter film genre in “Freaks.” The Rome-set kung fu movie stars Chinese martial artist Liu Yaxi, who was Liu Yifei’s stunt double in Disney’s “Mulan,” alongside Italy’s Enrico Borello (“Lovely Boy”), Sabrina Ferilli (“The Great Beauty”), Marco Giallini (“Perfect Strangers”) and Luca Zingaretti (“Montalbano”). Sales: Vision Distribution

“Gloria!” – Singer-songwriter Margherita Vicario makes her directorial debut with this musical comedy set in an 18th century Venetian female boarding school where a young rebel leads a group of performers who challenge classical canons and invent a precursor to pop music. Sales: Rai Cinema International

“My Summer With Irene” – Carlo Sironi, whose first feature “Sole” went to Toronto and Berlin in 2020, is back. This time in Berlin’s Generation section, with this relationship drama starring rising French indie star Noée Abita (“Slalom”) and Maria Camilla Barandenburg (“Slam Italia”) playing two 17-year-olds named Clara and Irène who both have health issues. Shortly after meeting, they run away together to an island where they experience an unforgettable summer. Sales: Fandango

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