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“We produce debut films for a European audience”

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Francesca Andreoli • Producer

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- We chatted to Francesca Andreoli, of Tempesta Film, which has produced Alice Rohrwacher’s and Leonardo Di Costanzo’s films, and makes a point of always working with European partners

Francesca Andreoli  • Producer

“Our sets tend to become a little European village,” Francesca Andreoli, head of Tempesta Film Italia, declares proudly. Tempesta was founded by Carlo Cresto-Dina in 2009 in order to stage movies and cross-media projects by young European auteurs that are geared towards international distribution. The outfit has produced both of Alice Rohrwacher’s features, Corpo celeste [+see also:
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trailer
film focus
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
film profile
]
(Cannes Directors’ Fortnight in 2011) and The Wonders [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
interview: Tiziana Soudani
film profile
]
(Grand Prix at Cannes in 2014), as well as the multi-award-winning The Interval [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Leonardo Di Costanzo
festival scope
film profile
]
by Leonardo Di Costanzo. Its most recent production is Fräulein – Una fiaba d’inverno [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Caterina Carone, which hit screens at the end of May. 

Cineuropa: What are Tempesta Film’s guiding principles when it comes to choosing films?
Francesca Andreoli: For the most part, we work on a couple of assets: namely, films and cross-media projects. The former involves producing works by young auteurs, who are often making their debuts – not just in Italy, but they are already preparing to take their baby steps into European circulation. In order to do this, we always look for co-productions. Partner countries of ours that are pretty much regulars already are Switzerland, with the excellent Tiziana Soudani, of Amka Films; France, with Ad Vitam; and Germany, with The Match Factory. We also work with Pandora and Michael Weber. This is the team that we’ve used so far for The Wonders and The Interval, and we’ll be using it for the upcoming films we’ve got in mind, too. 

It’s easier to enter the distribution circuit with co-productions, correct?
We all know that the funding sources are extremely limited in Italy: you’ve got the public input, and then there’s the TV duopoly of RAI Cinema and Medusa. If you want to broaden and top up the financial side of the film plan, you have to look abroad. At the moment, France, Switzerland and Germany are the countries that are most willing to enter into a partnership. And there’s an interesting and beneficial reciprocity mechanism: for Tempesta’s films so far, these have been minority European productions, and we in turn will now do minority co-productions of Swiss, French or German films. The most recent example of this is the co-production with Amka Films, which has the working title Il Nido [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(directed by first-timer Klaudia Reynicke, and starring Fabrizio Rongione and Ondina Quadri), which will be out at the end of the year.

They are co-productions not only on a financial level, but also on an artistic one, right?
Yes – crew members and employees from the co-producing country get stuck in on set, so we go there to train and involve professionals from other countries. The set tends to become a little European village, and this goes for the actors, too.

Does this have an influence on the writing of the screenplays?
We present the projects to the co-producers once we already have a screenplay at an advanced stage. Our films follow a very long writing process, and Carlo Cresto-Dina works together with the writer right from the initial idea. Of course, we are then still open to advice and suggestions. But when we take on a co-production, we follow the process of applying for funding and submitting proposals. Co-productions have the major advantage of allowing you access to the European calls for funding: MEDIA, Slate Funding, Single Project, Eurimages – all those funds that aim to nurture co-productions. And now there’s also a fantastic Lazio Region call for applications dedicated to international co-productions.

Regional funds are now an indispensable resource for rounding off a financial plan.
The work that the country’s Film Commissions are doing is crucial. In the case of Fräulein, the involvement of the Bolzano-South Tyrol Film Commission was vital for us. It wasn’t just a call for applications, but a true partner on the film, which supported us right from the point when the director, Caterina Carone, attended the ZeLIG – the Documentary, Television and New Media School in Bolzano – up until the development of part of the screenplay through the RACCONTI script lab, organised by the BLS. And then it planned and filmed it there, with local actors, crew and a workforce from the region.

You are also preparing L’intrusa, the upcoming film by Leonardo Di Costanzo, following The Interval.
Yes – it’s another story set in Naples; we should be starting the shoot in late summer. It’s another co-production with Switzerland, Germany and France, but we have swapped our French partner, and we will probably be working with Capricci. Meanwhile, Le ultime cose [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
is a feature debut by a female director, Irene Dionisio, who had done a lot of work with documentaries before this fiction film. It has three intertwining stories, set in a pawnshop in Turin, and they all portray a delicate balance, the fine line between debt and poverty. It will be distributed by Istituto Luce. We are also exploring the world of web series and are preparing one in conjunction with RAI Fiction, which we will film this summer. We are inventing new methods of collaborative writing, fuelled by internet surfers’ own contributions.

(Translated from Italian)

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