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La Vita Nuova

Carlo Zoratti, Cosimo Bizzarri, Ines Vasiljevic

Italy

synopsis

Franco is a frustrated door-to-door salesman living in a remote Italian village. One night, while he is alone and drunk in the nearby mountains, a strange man called Yoni appears to him, telling him that there are many dimensions besides the one in which humans live. Back in town, Franco tells everyone about the encounter and realizes that some of his fellow villagers are eager to listen to his stories. Happy to finally get attention, Franco creates a cult called La Vita Nuova. Inspired by Yoni’s message, it features aliens, multi-dimensional travel and the promise that one day its believers will be able to move to another dimension, in which all their desires will be fulfilled. An increasing number of villagers begin to attend the meetings of La Vita Nuova and Franco seems to have finally found his place in the world, until one day Yoni suddenly shows up in the village. Who is he? And what is he doing here? Faced with the possibility of his cult falling apart, Franco tries to justify Yoni’s return and behaviours in a way that could confirm his stories and strengthen his authority, but it is a dangerous bargain that will turn against him and end up harming the believers’ lives.

intention

"La Vita Nuova" is a celebration of life in its tragicomic fullness. It is the story of humans looking for a way to be happy in dire circumstances. It is a tale about finding belief in a wasteland.

Franco, our protagonist, has found happiness by creating a spiritual movement after grasping that his fellow villagers are unsatisfied people who are looking for new answers, just like him. Franco is willing to give these answers, no matter how nonsensical they are, both to offer them a chance of redemption and to fuel his own narcissism.

Franco’s symbiotic relationship with his followers allows us to explore the dynamics of faith and power in a group of people. The context creates a clash between the grandeur of Franco’s metaphysical claims and the triviality of an Italian village’s daily life.

We wish for the viewers to realise that life can be wrong and deceiving, but will never cease to amaze us and make us smile.

budget & financing

The project originated from the collaboration of DETAiLFILM and Carlo Zoratti right off the back of "The Special Need", Carlo Zoratti’s first documentary feature film. "The Special Need" was produced by DETAiLFILM as the majority producer even though it was mostly shot in Italy and in Italian language. We started developing "La Vita Nuova" as our next passion project, but it became clear that since it is an Italian comedy with a much higher demand and budget it would need an Italian majority executive producer. The Italian production company Nightswim with its additional strength in development is the perfect fit. The budget of the film is a contained € 1.500.000. The story is entirely set in a small village and uses few locations. The most elaborate location is the abandoned pizzeria that needs to be dressed as a makeshift temple. "La Vita Nuova", just like "The Special Need", will be an Italian-German co-production for which it would be natural to partner with Rai and ZDF Das kleine Fernsehspiel. The two broadcasters were involved already in our first film and we were able to build a profound, creative relationship, so we are looking forward to collaborate together again. Since "La Vita Nuova" will be entirely shot in the northern Italian region of Friuli Venezia Giulia our plan is to access the regional soft money opportunities and combine them with funding from MiBACT, a regional fund from Germany and Eurimages. Due to the short distance to Croatia and Slovenia and the creative relationships we have with a Croatian/Slovenian producer, we are investigating the opportunities to bring him on board as a third partner.

distribution & sales

Italian cinema has left a mark in the past few years, Italian movies get more and more attention, winning the most prestigious awards. Carlo Zoratti belongs to the new generation of Italian directors. With his first feature, the award-winning documentary "The Special Need" he has proved himself as a very promising talent. Now that he is moving into fiction, making a comedy about one of the biggest subjects – faith – we want this film to put him on the map and bring his talent and storytelling to many more people. Comedies tend to travel less than dramas due to the local nature of humor, but we believe that the subject of faith will transcend and make the film relevant to audiences in many other territories. The film will be positioned as a summer comedy that speaks to a more sophisticated, older, female audience, which still goes to the cinema. Strong art-house distributors that know their audience and know how to reach them are key in the process of making and ultimately releasing the film. We want to pre-sale Italy as well as Germany early on in order to start the strategic outreach right from the start and involve the distributors already in the first steps of building an audience. Distribution outside of these core territories largely depends on the festival career. "The Special Need" had a very succesful festival run which we will use to our strategic advantage. We have established strong relationships with many festivals worldwide. A prominent premiere at an A festival and a subsequent successful festival run make the distinction between an independent art-house film, that will make it to the cinemas or an independent art-house film that goes straight to VOD or SVOD. That being said, we are aiming at theatrical release in the major markets and day and date releases in the territories where possible. The strategy will be refined with our sales agent. We have pitched "La Vita Nuova" to a selected few potential partners and have an ongoing conversation with them.

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A provincial cult spins out of control when its fabled prophet suddenly shows up.
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Carlo Zoratti

Film Director

91-cosimo-bizzarri
Cosimo Bizzarri

Scriptwriter

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Ines Vasiljevic

Production

production notes

original title
La Vita Nuova

directed by
Carlo Zoratti

produced byNightswim
Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 252
00186, Rome
Italy

in co-production with
Alpis – Italy
Nightswim – Italy

written by
Carlo Zoratti
Cosimo Bizzarri

total production budget
€ 1.500.000

current financial need
€ 1.200.000