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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy

Sergio Rubini is shooting I Fratelli De Filippo in Naples

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- The Italian actor-director is on set with his new film about the theatre company helmed by the De Filippo brothers, descendants of the acclaimed, early twentieth century playwright Eduardo Scarpetta

Sergio Rubini is shooting I Fratelli De Filippo in Naples
Domenico Pinelli, Anna Ferraioli Ravel and Mario Autore on the set of I Fratelli De Filippo

Filming kicked off just a few days ago in Naples (between Piazza del Plebiscito and Teatro San Carlo) on the new film by Sergio Rubini, who is stepping behind the camera once again after previously directing The Great Spirit [+see also:
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, released in May 2019. The title, I Fratelli De Filippo (litt. “The De Filippo Brothers”), and the location leave no doubt as to the subject. We’re in the early twentieth century and the three brothers Peppino, Titina and Eduardo are living with their young and beautiful mother Luisa De Filippo. There’s no father in the family, or rather he’s hiding behind the disguise of “uncle” Eduardo Scarpetta, the most famous, most acclaimed and most wealthy actor-playwright of his time. Despite refusing to recognise the boys as his natural sons, Scarpetta introduces them to the world of theatre from an early age. When the great actor dies, he divides his assets between his legitimate children, while Titina, Eduardo and Peppino receive nothing. But, as it turns out, “uncle” Scarpetta has bequeathed a special gift to these three youngsters: his great talent, an asset which his legitimate son Vincenzo - also an actor-playwright, who now owns the family business - sadly hasn’t inherited.

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In the story penned by Rubini alongside Carla Cavallucci and Angelo Pasquini (the latter having collaborated on many of the Apulian director and actor’s films), redemption from their painful family history comes through the theatrical training embarked upon by the De Filippo trio, a cherished, long-standing dream of Eduardo and his brothers’ which they finally fulfil despite difficulties and conflict. “These were three boys who belonged to a seemingly minor family but who managed, nonetheless, to overturn their destiny by way of their talent, their tenacity and the sacrifices they made”, Rubini explained in an interview with an Italian daily back in June. “They made known their family name, which had previously been a sore point for them given that it was their mother’s, but above all, they brought about a great revolution in the world of theatre, freeing it from the nineteenth century form it had inherited from their father’s approach and endowing it with a more realistic outlook, so much so that Eduardo is now considered to be one of the fathers of Neorealism.”

The film stars Mario Autore, Domenico Pinelli, Anna Ferraioli Ravel, Biagio Izzo and Giancarlo Giannini in its cast, with shooting unfolding across the Campania and Lazio regions. For the record, since February this year Mario Martone has been hard at work on Qui rido io, a film also focusing on Eduardo Scarpetta, starring Toni Servillo (read our news).

I Fratelli De Filippo is produced by Pepito Produzioni alongside Rai Cinema and in collaboration with Nuovo Teatro.

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(Translated from Italian)

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