Cinecittà is reborn with women: Angelina Jolie and Paola Cortellesi at “Hollywood on the Tiber”

Cinecittà reborn, and reborn with two women: Angelina Jolie and Paola Cortellesi. The most important film studios in Italy, those of the “Studio 5” made legendary by Federico Fellini, after difficult years they return to work at full capacity. And they welcome, among others, the production of “Without Blood” by Angelina Jolie, based on the novel “Bloodless” by Alessandro Baricco, with Salma Hayek and Demiàn Bichir, and the directorial debut of Paula Cortellesi.

The actress and now also director Paola Cortellesi (Instagram)
The actress and now also director Paola Cortellesi (Instagram)

“It is a great pleasure for me to inaugurate the renaissance of Cinecittà with the work of two female directors” says the managing director of the Studios, Nicola Maccanico, met at the 79th Venice Film Festival. “With Paola Cortellesi, in particular, we lived together the birth of the project and its development in all its phases; Paola is an exceptional, intelligent, creative and courageous artist and woman”. Courage also for Angelina Jolie, who for her film was the first to use the brand new “Smart Stageby Cinecittà. “It’s the largest Smart Stage in Europe, or one of the largest, it’s a matter of centimeters – says Maccanico -. It is a 350 square meter screen in which one can rebuild any environment. This is not the Green Screen, but a screen in which it is already possible to ‘see’ the background while the actors play. So that they are not forced to play in an empty space, with a green wall behind them”.

Among the other films being worked on at Cinecittà in the coming weeks and months, “Finally dawn” by Saverio Costanzo with Willem Dafoethe “M” series taken from the books of Antonio Scurati and “The Commander” by Edward De Angelis written with Sandro Veronesi. “We have already sold out the studios until the first half of 2023” explains Maccanico again. “There are Italian and foreign producers, international majors and independent producers: the whole range of film productions. One thing is for sure: this is a moment of huge recovery for the whole sector. And we want to invest, to make Cinecittà grow. We will build five new soundstages in the existing Cinecittà. The first we will build, thanks to Pnrr funds, will be a 3,500 square meter theater, which will become the largest in Cinecittà. And 16 hectares of land will be destined for what are called ‘backlots’, or rather open-air scenographies”. What does all this mean? Which – while we continue to shoot on location, and the regions enhance their sites also thanks to the cinemawith the commitment of the various regional film commissions – we will also return to filming major films in the studio. Where it’s easier to get perfect picture and sound quality.

Hollywood diva Angelina Jolie (Instagram)
Hollywood diva Angelina Jolie (Instagram)

Cinecittà is therefore reborn. She was born in 1937, the last element of a “cinema system” that fascism had been able to build, with the Venice Film Festival, the Experimental Center of Cinematography, the Istituto Luce for newsreels, and finally a city in which to create films. It immediately had an extraordinary development and production intensity: then the war came, the bombings came, the sad days in which Cinecittà was only a displaced campi, with scripts used to make a little fire and warm up, and movie cameras taken away by fleeing Germans. Then came the post-war period, the happy season of “Hollywood on the Tiber“, from “Roman Holiday” to “Cleopatra”. And hundreds and hundreds of movies, up to “Gangs of New Yorkby Martin Scorsese. The new millennium has seen Cinecittà experience difficult days. But now, perhaps, we really see the light.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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