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PRODUCTION Italy

Pontecorvo debuts in Bucharest

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Marco Pontecorvo has chosen to make his first feature film in Bucharest, where he has just begun shooting Clown. The son of the great Gillo (director of The Battle of Algiers) makes his debut with the true story of Miloud (Jalil Lespert), a French-Algerian street-performing clown who in Romania in 1992 discovers the dramatic and miserable conditions of the street kids living in the capital’s sewer system.

He is helped in his attempts to call attention to the numerous "strays" forced to survive in Bucharest’s sewers by Livia (Evita Ciri), an Italian NGO worker, and Don Guido (Daniele Formica).

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A multiple award-winner for his short film Ore 2, calma piatta (also presented at Venice), Pontecorvo is one of the most acclaimed cinematographers of his generation: in 1997, after the death of Pasqualino De Santis, he took over photography on Francesco Rosi’s noteworthy film The Truce, followed by numerous projects in Italy (Michelangelo Antonioni’s episode in Eros, Franco Battiato’s Perduto amor) and abroad (Richard Loncraine’s Firewall).

For this gripping social drama about Romania after the fall of Ceausescu, the director cast Lespert – who has worked with Robert Guédiguian and Alain Resnais, won a César for Laurent Cantet’s Human Resources and is once again before the camera after directing his feature debut 24 mesures [+see also:
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(screened in Venice’s Critics Week) – and two virtual unknowns in cinema: newcomer Ciri, the daughter of actress Paola Pitagora, and Formica, best known as a playwright and theatre actor.

Production on Clown will last nine weeks in Bucharest before moving to Paris for an additional week of shooting. The film is produced by Marco Valerio Pugini for Panorama Films, in collaboration with RAI Cinema.

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(Translated from Italian)

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