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Sicilian Ghost Story Enchants at Sundance

Natasha Lardera (February 02, 2016)
The screenplay of Sicilian Ghost Story, a film penned and to be directed by Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, has won the prestigious Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award. The award consists of a considerable amount of money to be used in the actual production of the film that should go in production in the fall of 2016. The film is a fairy tale where the magical world collides with reality.

A logline is a one-sentence that sums up the story of a script. It's that short blurb underneath the still of the movie that tells you what it is about and helps you decide if you're interested in watching it or not.

In the case of “Sicilian Ghost Story,” an Italian film in pre-production, we can say that it is a 
Brothers Grimm tale that meets the Sicilian reality of Cosa Nostra.

“Sicilian Ghost Story” follows young Luna, a tough teenager who refuses to accept the sudden disappearance of Giuseppe, the young boy she loves, when he is kidnapped because he is the son of a Mafia boss. This is the grabber, has it peaked your interest? It definitely grabbed the interest of film buffs at the latest edition of the Sundance Film Festival. 

Indeed, the two minds behind the story, directors Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza, have won the prestigious Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award for their screenplay.

Shooting is planned to be starting in the Fall 2016. The award consists of a considerable amount of money to be used in the actual production of the film and it was given to the two Italian filmmakers at the end of the Sundance Institute Screenwriters Lab.

The Lab is a special program of the Sundance Film Festival, the most celebrated festival of independent cinema in the US. Founded by Robert Redford, and named after Redford's character The Sundance Kid from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, the festival was originally conceived in an effort to attract more filmmakers to Utah, but it has changed over the years from being a low-profile venue for small independent films to an international arena that has launched the careers of directors like Kevin Smith, Robert Rodriguez, Quentin Tarantino, Jim Jarmusch and Steven Soderbergh.

"We are happy and honored to have received such a prestigious international award,” Grassadonia and Piazza have stated to the press, “We are proud of the script of “Sicilian Ghost Story” and we are surprised that a story that is so purely Sicilian raised such interest in a country so far away from ours. “Sicilian Ghost Story” is a fairy tale and we believe that this has fascinated the American public that we have met here at Sundance. We pictured a tale full of children, a story made of landscapes and situations that are unexpected in Sicily. The Sicily of our film is different, it reminds us of the world of the Grimm Brothers made of forests and ogres but at one point this magical world collides with reality, a reality that is inevitable in our land.”

The main character of the film is Luna, a Sicilian thirteen year old girl who is concerned about the disappearance of the boy she loves, Giuseppe. She doesn't give up on him and in order to find him she delves into the obscure world that has swallowed him and in a lake that has a mysterious gateway. Only her indestructible love for Giuseppe can help her get out unscathed.

The screenplay of “Sicilian Ghost Story” was penned while at the Sundance Institute’s Screenwriters Lab and the film will be produced by Massimo Cristaldi in collaboration with Indigo Film, while Germany’s The Match Factory has secured international sales.

The success of “Sicilian Ghost Story” is not a first for the filmmaking duo. Fabio Grassadonia and Antonio Piazza won big with their first feature: “Salvo,” a unique Sicilian hit-man thriller. They won the Grand Prix and the Prix Rèvèlation at the Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film festival in 2013; they also won a Nastro d'Argento (the Silver Ribbon, an Italian film award given each year since 1946  by the Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists), a Globo d'Oro (an Italian Golden Globe awarded by the Rome Foreign Press Association) and they received four nominations at the David di Donatello (Italy's Oscars).

Before its win at Sundance, “Sicilian Ghost Story” was voted one of the Top 100 Most Anticipated Foreign Films of 2016.

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