"Incantato" to be Released by Northern Arts Entertainment

by Adam Burnett

Vanessa Incontrada and Neri Marcorè in a scene from Pupi Avati's "Incantato," which Northern Arts Entertainment will release in the U.S. in association with Palisades Pictures Entertainment and Artistic License Films. Image courtesy of Artistic License Films.

Northern Arts Entertainment, in association with Palisades Pictures Entertainment and Artistic License Films, have announced their acquisition of Italian filmmaker Pupi Avati's "Incantato." The film will open in New York at he Angelika Film Center on September 24, 2004 and in Los Angeles at the Laemmle Music Hall on October 15, 2004. Northern Arts will then release the film to a wider national marketplace.

The film stars Neri Marcoré, Vanessa Incontrada and international favorite Giancarlo Giannini, in a supporting role. Set in the Rome and Bologna of the 1920s, "Incantato" tells the story of Nello Balocchi (Marcoré), a quiet and awkward academic encouraged by his father (Giannini) to teach high school in Balogna in the hopes that the city will provide potential spouses. There, Nello meets and falls in love with Angela Gardini (Incontrada), a beautiful and liberated blind woman.

"Incantato" played at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and won Avati a Best Director award at Italy's Donatello Awards. The acquisition was brokered by Northern Arts' John Lawrence Ré and Larry Jackson with Sesto Cifola of Rai Trade.

Northern Arts' Larry Jackson explained in a statement, "John and I adored the film when we saw it at the Cannes Film Festival. It's the most original love story we're seen in ages, and it introduces a phenomenal new comedic talent in Neri Marcoré."

Over the past 14 years, Northern Arts Entertainment has released 65 films in the U.S., largely focusing on foreign language films, including several Best Foreign Film Oscar nominees. The release of "Incantato" will be the first of several planned collaborations with Sande Zeig and Artistic License Films. Sande Zeig formed Artistic License in 1994 and has released more than 70 films.