By Indiewire | Indiewire August 5, 2003 at 2:00AM
Miramax Gets Award Winning, Six-Hour Italian Film "La Meglio Gioventu"
by Eugene Hernandez
Miramax has acquired rights for the six-hour Italian drama "La Meglio Gioventu" (Best of Youth), winner of the top prize in Un Certain Regard section at the Festival de Cannes where it debuted in May. The project, an epic portrait of a generation that was originally conceived as a television miniseries, was packaged as a feature and has been released in two parts in Italy where it has earned more than $1 million on just 35 screens. Miramax's plans for the project, which will include a theatrical release, are still unclear.
Marco Tullio Giordana's "La Meglio Gioventu" is the story of an Italian family from the late 1960s through the present day, set against the crucial events in Italian history. It follows two brothers, played by Luigi Lo Cascio and Alessio Boni, whose lives are changed when they encounter a troubled young woman, played by Jasmine Trinca.
The film has been a favorite with critics and is expected to play at a number of high-profile film festivals in North America this fall, according to industry insiders. While the company could not confirm festival plans for the project, a Miramax spokesperson told indieWIRE that a theatrical release is assured. Yet, the the Miramax rep said that a release date has not been set, nor has the company determined whether it will release the movie in one or two parts. Miramax recently announced that it will release Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" in two parts.
"We are thrilled to be involved with Marco Tullio Giordana's 'La Meglio Gioventu' (Best of Youth)," said Agnes Mentre, head of acquisitions for Miramax Films. "This widely acclaimed drama paints a stunning portrait of an Italian generation, and audiences around the world are certain to treasure this award-winning film."
The Miramax deal includes rights for distribution in North America (excluding French Canada), the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. The company acquired rights from Rai Trade in Italy. Chiara Trento, Miramax's director of acquisitions, identified the project for the company and a pact was negotiated by Rai's president & CEO Roberto Rossi and Miramax co-chairman Harvey Weinstein and Fabrizio Lombardo, the SVP of Miramax International.
Directed by Giordana, who is best known for the 2000 film "The Hundred Steps," the film was written by Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli. Its title comes from that of a collection of poetry by Pier Pasolini and an old song that was sung by Alpine troops.