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PRODUCTION Italy

Zelig’s stage to big screen – it’s Jonny Groove’s turn

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After Checco Zalone’s roaring success with his performance in Gennaro Nunziante What a Beautiful Day [+see also:
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(2011), which took more than €43 million gross, another comedian from the cabaret TV show Zelig is making his big-screen debut: Giovanni Vernia, aka Jonny Groove, the slightly dim clubber who, thanks to his hit “Essiamonoi”, has become one of the public’s favourites.

Filming on Ti stimo fratello (I Respect You Brother) begins today in Liguria, Varigotti (a province of Savona). The film is co-directed by Vernia together with the comic writer Paolo Uzzi, and is produced by Maurizio Totti and Alessandro Usai for Colorado Film, by Roberto Bosatra for Bananas and by Warner Bros. Pictures Italy, which is co-producing and will distribute the film in 2012.

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The story, written by Francesco Cenni Michele Pellegrini, Paolo Uzzi and Giovanni Vernia, is about two twins who are completely different from each other, Jonny and Giovanni, both played by Vernia. Giovanni is an electronic engineer who lives in Milan and is going out with the daughter of the head of the advertising agency for which he works; Jonny is a house music expert and does little other than spend his nights in the club.

On his father’s orders, Jonny joins his brother in Milan, ostensibly to take an exam to join the financial police force. But here he discovers Gilez, a cool bar where he immediately becomes a star and falls in love with Alice, a young waitress on whom Giovanni also has a crush. Jonny’s arrival looks set to turn his brother’s life upside down, but, instead, it will change it for the better.

Actors in I Respect You Brother include Maurizio Micheli, Susy Laude, Stella Egitto, Carmela Vincenti and Bebo Storti, also featuring Diego Abatantuono. Filming will be spread over seven weeks: following the first week in Liguria and Milan, the remaining six weeks will be held in Rome.

(Translated from Italian)

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