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Voice from the Stone

Vanity Fair: Rome caput Hollywood: cinema returns to Cinecittà

Rome caput Hollywood? It seems that the dream is destined to become reality again. Thanks to a series of tax incentives and investments, major international productions are returning to film in Cinecittà and its surroundings. The titles in the program are various, and all of the highest level: ranging from the reboot of the blockbuster Ben Hur to the sequel ofZoolander, from the new 007 a Diabolik – the series (browse the gallery above to discover them all).

Among them, there is also indie film Voice from the stone, whose peculiarity is to be entirely made in Italy, despite the American production. In fact, all the workers who took part in the troupe are Italian. "At the beginning they proposed that we go and shoot it in Bulgaria, but I strongly opposed it and I found funding to do it here. The Italian team is of the highest quality: one works with Garrone, another with Ridley Scott, the director of photography works with Terence Malick ». Stefano Gallini-Durante is enthusiastic when he talks about his latest adventure. Former banker, now producer, together with his American colleague Dean Zanuck is making this film adaptation of the novel Voice From the Stone by Silvio Raffo (1997), a psychological thriller set in Tuscany in the 1950s.

“The shooting lasted six weeks. In November we "occupied" a village of 70 inhabitants near Viterbo, Montecalvello; then we did some exteriors in Castello Celsa, Siena; finally in Cinecittà. The rhythms were heavy, we shot every day from 6 in the morning to 7 in the evening, "he says.

Would it have been possible without funding?
"Absolutely not. Although I have lived in the United States for twenty-six years, I wanted this film to have an Italian connotation. The quality of our technicians is enviable, they make me angry those who are always there to speak badly ».
It is the national sport
«Instead, I remain a supporter of my country and I find that there is too much criticism on our part. Instead of sinking it, Italy should be helped. Cinema can do a lot, in my small way I do everything possible ».
It will be said: coming from outside, everything is simpler.

“It's partly true: you get here with a loan and the desire to make a film, without having to go through politics, which unfortunately every Italian producer has to deal with. From a creative point of view, shooting with us was the right choice: the locations are spectacular, the crews exceptional ».
And the cast?

"As Italian actors we have Remo Girone, Caterina Murino and Lisa Gastoni, a legend of the 1960s. And then there is the child Edward Dring, who despite his foreign name and surname is from Genoa: he is very good, we will hear about him ".
The protagonist, however, is a foreigner (Emilia Clarke by Game of Thrones, ndr).

«The choices of the players are linked to the market: we do not have international players. We don't have a Marion Cotillard or a Javier Bardem. We have very good actors but limited to short-term projects ».
Have you seen Italian films that are attractive for abroad recently?

“I've seen little recently, so I can't judge. I liked it The Great Beauty, which the Italians have loved little because it fully reflects who we are ».
What advice would you give to your Italian colleagues?
"To have a more international vision of cinema, as in the past the great producers De Laurentis, Carlo Ponti, Franco Cristaldi had. We have the technical and creative characteristics to cross national borders, just as the French do with Besson and others. I would tell them to wake up and travel, to find international material ».
"There is no money," everyone says so
“That's not true, just think that the budget of my film (between 4 and 8 million euros) is lower than that of Italian films. The protagonist is Emilia Clarke, an international star with millions of fans who has not yet exploded here, but who we will see in three films next year and has already signed up for the newTerminator. To make a film with an international flair you need to focus on these things, on the new, you don't need to spend a lot of money. If one wishes, things can be done even on a reduced budget ».
What other projects do you have going?

«Different, all international, but to be shot in Italy. One is called Joe Petrosino and will be set in the early 1900s: it tells a story of the mafia that is the link betweenGangs of New York e The Godfather. We have no cast or director but it is fully funded by Lionsgate. Then there is the trilogy Fallen Angel with Fox, of which we will shoot the third chapter; finally the transposition of the Weight of the Butterfly by Erri De Luca».

Browse above the gallery with images from the set of Voice from the stone and all the international films shot in Italy in the coming weeks.

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