TorinoFilmLab - Training, development, Funding



Flaminio Zadra, Damiano Femfert



Kalaf, a young man from Iran with a shady past, settles in the ethnically diverse neighbourhood of Piazza Vittorio, in Rome. Hosted by old family friends, he meets and eventually falls in love with Turandot, the enigmatic daughter of a Chinese businessman with ties to organized crime. A myth surrounds her: those wishing to marry her, must first pass three challenges to prove their worthiness. Failure results in death by beheading.
Apparently blinded by love, Kalaf decides to step up. In his slow descent into Turandot’s world, he is dazzled by the wonder and the horror, and tested by experiences so overwhelming they seem to defy the boundaries between reality and dreams. But as he is sucked in deeper and deeper, a link between himself, Turandot and their respective family emerges. Is Kalaf only driven by love, or are there more sinister motivations behind his actions?
To survive, he needs to come to terms with his past and question whether revenge has the capacity to clear it.


The western audience met for the first time "Turandot" in 1762, when the Venetian Carlo Gozzi attracted a vast audience with his theatre play based on a Persian fairy-tale. A modern adaptation of the story however, must also consider its numerous later versions. The riddles of this mysterious exotic woman have challenged the creativity of artists such as Friedrich Schiller, Giacomo Puccini, Bertolt Brecht and Zhang Yimou, who preserved elements of adventure, mystery, romance and esotericism. This powerful mix, driven by a life-threatening situation is an evergreen key for any entertaining story.
Turandot is beautiful, highly intelligent, cynical, and inaccessible, attempting to preserve her emancipation from men. If it is true that any good narration is built on opposites, then the opposition between Turandot and Kalaf offers a most fertile ground to explore the complexity of human behaviour, as well as the “battle of the sexes”, a topic that will never fully stop to be explored.
Our approach is to preserve the mystery of the original fairy-tale, while placing it into a real, modern and unexpected setting such as the Chinese community of the cinematic area of Piazza Vittorio in Rome.


The popular myth of the cruel Chinese princess is adapted into a noir set in modern day Rome.
Flaminio Zadra

Production, Financial Consulting / Investor

Damiano Femfert


production notes

original title

produced byDorje Film
Viale G. Rossini 18
00198, Roma