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FILMS Italy

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Mantegna to play Pontormo

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An artistic play of words: Joe Mantegna, the Italo-American actor has signed on to play 15th Century painter, Pontormo in a €5m film to be directed by 69-year-old Giovanni Fago and partially funded by the Italian Ministry for Culture. Mantegna, whose family hail from Sicily and Bari, will play the pre-eminent mannerist who was born in Empoli in 1494, died in Florence in 1556, and dedicated his whole adult life to art, studying first under Andrea del Sarto and then Da Vinci himself. Pontormo was a shy and retiring man who rarely travelled further than his native Florence where he enjoyed the patronage of the powerful Medici family. The film went into production in mid-July and shooting will continue throughout August on location first in Florence’s Palazzo Vecchio and the Cloister of Santa Maria Novella, the site of some of Pontormo’s most famous frescoes and subsequently in Caprarola and Rome. The cast also includes Galatea Ranzi as Anna, a Flemish refugee whom Pontormo saved from being burned at the stake for witchery.

(Translated from Italian)

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