From October, filming of a thriller in Elba

From October, filming of a thriller in Elba

Ciak, si gira: from October, filming of a thriller in Elba, cast members Fanny Ardant and Johanna Kulig.
Production Designer Elba's Paolo Ferruzzi

On the first of October, the filming of an important film will begin in Elba. It will last until 15 November, involving a crew of about fifty people including actors, directors of various departments and technicians. The leading actresses are Fanny Ardant and Joanna Kulig. The direction and screenplay are by Nora Jaenicke. Production is by Manish Mundra assisted by Ariens Damsi's Roman company Eliofilm and Elba is represented by Paolo Ferruzzi as Production designer.

ADA follows in the wake of the glorious tradition of the genre film. It takes its distinctive traits, the characteristics that made it a pillar of world cinematography, and makes them its own, without, however, letting itself be crushed by the weight of the past. ADA is a psychological thriller that has its roots in the Hitchcockian tradition, but which looks decisively at contemporary narrative needs. The film opens on Ada, a mature woman on her way to an island where she will begin her new job as carer for old Oskar, a man condemned to a vegetative state. In the wealthy man's huge villa, Ada makes the acquaintance of his young wife, Joanna, gorgeous and graceful, reminiscent of the femme fatales of American noirs. The two approach each other, brush against each other, search each other in mind and body without ever reaching a real climax. Until the moment when Joanna, the film's true protagonist, realises the disgust she feels at being condemned to isolation and submission, at being exploited by those around her. Including her lover, Joaquin.

Nora Jaenicke chooses an intriguing island such as Elba as the setting for the story. The landscape and its beaches, far from the Italian coast, are the perfect metaphor for the sense of distance, of detachment, that the two protagonists feel. Ada is far from her homeland, from her love, from any hope for a future worthy of the name. Joanna is as if removed from herself, from the woman she was before she met Oskar, and from her passion. The encounter between the two, the confrontation of their malaise, creates the friction necessary to light the fire of the narrative. A dance of continuous rapprochements and estrangements, echoing the tone and theme of Ingmar Bergman's masterpiece Persona (1956), where the intimate suffering of two profoundly different women becomes the glue for a toxic relationship. ADA is a profoundly feminine film, not only because the two protagonists paint a broad fresco of the female gender, but because of the delineation of the male characters. Oskar, Joanna's wealthy husband, is in a vegetative state as a result of a muscular disease. In his total immobility, he is forced to depend on others, to be served and helped for every little need. A law of reciprocity that seems to punish him for his emotional greed for his young wife caged in her desires and in a toxic and possessive love. Joaquin, lover of the young Joanna, is an indolent swindler, a failed and truncated artist who lives off Joanna's back. A bleak male landscape contrasts with the female one who, despite being infected by the 'poison' of bad feelings, nevertheless attempts an emotional rapprochement. In the background of the events, as mentioned, is the island of Elba.

Oskar's mansion, a place of silent intrigue and slimy expectations, is the main location for much of the narrative unfolding. A super-temporal, almost dreamlike, luminous place, which contrasts with the dark and decadent locations of the thriller and gives new life to one of the genre's distinctive features. A carefully considered choice always with the aim of catching the spectator unprepared. Ada thus takes the archetypal patterns of the thriller, makes them her own by consciously handling them, readjusting them to the needs of the contemporary.

Men disappear in favour of women, the femme fatale is no longer secondary, but the protagonist. The characters are all saints and sinners, embodying the supreme human veracity: they all have something to hide.

The film has all the necessary characteristics for a circulation in film festivals that have always had an eye on works with the same theme, such as the Turin Film Festival, Locarno, Busan, Berlinale, the Venice Biennale, as well as Sundance and the Toronto Film Festival. Events that have always had an excellent response thanks to the aforementioned themes, to the aesthetic composition with attention to every detail, to the particular structure both in narrative methodology and for the locations chosen. A film that will certainly have the chance to make a name for itself and be seen, once it enters into production with a broad international scope. This press release will be followed by others with more detailed descriptions. At the moment, only a few schematic outlines are given.

Fanny Ardant is considered one of the best French actresses of her generation. During her career, she has won two César Awards (out of six nominations), a European Film Award, a Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and two Silver Ribbons.Ardant is also the last great muse of François Truffaut, who directed her in the famous films The Lady Next Door and Finally Sunday! that made her leave an indelible mark in the history of French cinema.

Joanna Kulig is a Polish actress. After studying acting at the Ludwik Solski State Drama School in Cracow, she began working in film and television productions in Poland in 2006. In 2013 she won the eagle of the Polskie Nagrody Filmowe as best supporting actress in Elles. In 2018 she won a European Film Awards for Best Actress for her performance in Cold War.

Nora Jaenicke, Founder and Artistic Director of the Elba Film Festival is an award-winning filmmaker. To date, she has made eight short films that have won over 40 awards at international festivals around the world. Her passion for culture, social and community impact inspired her to start the Elba Film Festival and Nostos Screenwriting Retreats, a screenplay development workshop in Tuscany.

Manish Mundra is a Film Producer living between Mumbai, Dubai and Lagos. He has produced numerous films in Bollywood as well as independent films including Masaan in 2015, Waiting in 2016, Umrika and Dhanak and Newton, Rukh and Kadvi Hawa in 2017 with his Production company Drishyam Films, which he started in 2014. His film Newton was an official Oscar nominee and his film Dhanak won the National Award for Best Children's Film.

Paolo Ferruzzi, born in Elba, was Ordinary Professor of Scenography at the Accademia Albertina di Belle Arti in Turin and the Accademia di Belle Arti in Rome.

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