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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / China / Germany

The shoot kicks off for Italian-Chinese co-production The Italian Recipe


- The film, produced by Cristiano Bortone for Orisa Produzioni, is a romantic comedy directed by Chinese filmmaker Zuxin Hou and is also being co-produced by Germany

The shoot kicks off for Italian-Chinese co-production The Italian Recipe
Director Zuxin Hou and Yao Huang, the lead actress in The Italian Recipe (© Francesca Fago)

The shoot has got under way in Rome for The Italian Recipe, the second official co-production between Italy and China, following Coffee [+see also:
interview: Cristiano Bortone
interview: Cristiano Bortone
film profile
(see the news), produced by Cristiano Bortone (of Orisa Produzioni) together with Dauphine Film Company (Roberta Manfredi, Alberto Simone), Rai Cinema, Beijing-based WD Pictures, Lightburst Pictures (Berlin) and Fun Age Kaixin Mahua, one of the main distributors of comedy flicks in China.

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In the film, which will unfold over the course of a single night, the city of Rome serves as a backdrop for the love story between a famous Chinese pop singer who has sold out to the glitz and glamour of showbusiness and a Cinderella type who secretly dreams of becoming a successful chef. The director of The Italian Recipe is emerging talent Zuxin Hou, a graduate of the USC film school who has already made a name for herself with her documentaries and advertising campaigns, besides having been a finalist as a singer on The Voice of China. The female lead in the film is Yao Huang, who was praised for her performance in The Crossing, which was in competition at Berlin last year.

“The project arose from one of the labs run by the Bridging the Dragon Sino-European producers’ association, and it was originally written by Alberto Simone,” explains Cristiano Bortone. “We spent more than two years developing the screenplay with our Chinese partners to make sure the story would be appealing to the Chinese audience. We are also very happy to have welcomed Kaixin Mahua on board as the distributor and financier of the film because their company is a genuine brand in China, which to the general public is a byword for comedy.

“I’m therefore seeing the fulfilment of one of my greatest dreams, for which we have all been striving for years: realising a product with strong European involvement that nevertheless manages to leave a lasting impression on the enormous potential market that is China,” adds Bortone. “I’m very happy that the main crew is made up of great Italian professionals (Vladan Radovic in charge of the cinematography, Tonino Zera taking care of the set design and Sabrina Beretta overseeing the wardrobe), that all of the post-production is being carried out by our Berlin-based co-producer, and that the movie is heavily promoting the image and the special qualities of Italy. I hope that this will become the first in a long series of similar cases where these two worlds truly collide.”

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