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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / France / Slovenia

Laura Samani’s stark fairy tale Small Body is selected for Cannes

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- An Italian-French-Slovenian co-production steered by Nefertiti Film, the Trieste-born director’s debut feature will take part in the 60th edition of Cannes’ Critics’ Week

Laura Samani’s stark fairy tale Small Body is selected for Cannes
Celeste Cescutti in Small Body

A stark fairy tale set in northeast Italy at the beginning of the 1900s, revolving around a young woman who embarks upon a long journey to save her daughter’s soul: this is the premise of Small Body, the first feature film directed by Trieste’s Laura Samani, who graduated in 1989. The movie will be presented within the feature film competition of Cannes’ 60th Critics’ Week.

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Starring Celeste Cescutti and Ondina Quadri (Arianna [+see also:
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, The Nest [+see also:
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), Small Body is a co-production between Italy, France and Slovenia, steered by Nadia Trevisan and Alberto Fasulo (the director of Tir [+see also:
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and Menocchio The Heretic [+see also:
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) on behalf of Nefertiti Film in league with RAI Cinema, and co-produced by Thomas Lambert for French firm Tomsa Films and by Danijel Hočevar for Slovenia’s Vertigo.

A philosophy graduate who studied film direction at Rome’s Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia and who previously took part in Cannes’ Cinéfondation programme in 2016 with her graduate short film La Santa che dorme, Laura Samani also signs her name to the film’s story and screenplay, having written the latter alongside Marco Borromei and Elisa Dondi. The story unfolds on a small island in northeast Italy, one winter in the early 1900s. Young Agata’s daughter tragically dies upon birth. Catholic tradition dictates that the child cannot be baptised if she isn’t breathing. Her soul is condemned to a state of limbo, deprived of a name and of peace. But Agata hears a rumour: in the mountains of the North, there’s a place where children are brought back to life, for the space of a breath, in order to be baptised.

Clinging on to hope, Agata secretly leaves the island and embarks upon a dangerous journey with her daughter’s small body hidden in a box. But she doesn’t know the way and she’s never seen snow in her entire life. She meets Lince, a wild and solitary boy who knows the land and who offers to help her in exchange for the mysterious contents of the box. Despite their initial mutual distrust, they set out on an adventure in which courage and friendship will allow each of them to draw closer to a seemingly impossible miracle.

Small Body was shot in the Friuli Venezia Giulia and Veneto regions. The film is distributed worldwide by Paris-based outfit Alpha Violet.

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(Translated from Italian)

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