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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy / France

Shooting kicks off on Shotgun in Sicily

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- Marta Savina’s debut feature film tells the story of a young woman living in Sicily in the 1960s who reacts to violence with an act of rebellion

Shooting kicks off on Shotgun in Sicily
Claudia Gusmano and Fabrizio Ferracane on the set of Shotgun (© Giulia Fassina)

Shooting has begun in the Nebrodi Mountains, in northern Sicily, on Shotgun (working title), which is the first feature-length movie written and directed by Florentine filmmaker Marta Savina.

Shotgun tells the story of Lia, a young woman who reacts to the most terrible form of violence with an act of rebellion which blows apart the social conventions of the time. In a world where the strongest dictate the rules, where mafia roots run deep and are accepted as a natural part of life, and where the powerful make decisions while the weak do as they’re told, her courage will pave the way for the fight for women’s rights.

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In 2017, Savina presented her short film Viola, Franca - a graduation movie resulting from a film direction course at the University of California UCLA - in a world premiere in New York’s Tribeca Film Festival, and Shotgun seems to be the expanded version of this original short. It told the story of Franca Viola, a seventeen-year-old girl from Alcamo in Sicily, who, in 1965, was the first woman in Italy to say no to a “shotgun” wedding, refusing her abductor and rapist Filippo Melodia, who was the nephew of a local mafia boss. In Italy, at the time, the Penal Code permitted rapists to marry their victims and thereby negate the crime, which was considered an offense against society rather than the person herself. Director Damiano Damiani went on to make a film based on Franca Viola’s story, La moglie più bella, in 1970.

Starring in the cast of Shotgun, we find the protagonist of the short film Claudia Gusmano, Fabrizio Ferracane (seen at this year’s Venice Film Festival in The Inner Cage [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Leonardo Di Costanzo
film profile
]
and The Peacock’s Paradise [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Bispuri
film profile
]
, as well as in The Land of Sons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
which competed in Karlovy Vary), Francesco Colella (seen last year in Padrenostro [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Claudio Noce
film profile
]
), Manuela Ventura and Dario Aita, with appearances also from Thony, Maziar Firouzi, little Francesco Giulio Cerillie and Paolo Pierobon.

Shotgun is produced by Virginia Valsecchi on behalf of Capri Entertainment, in co-production with French firm Medset Film and Tenderstories, in collaboration with Vision Distribution and RAI Cinema. The film enjoys support from the Italian Ministry for Culture (MIC) and will be distributed in Italy and elsewhere by Vision Distribution.

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(Translated from Italian)

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