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PRODUCTION Italy

Alice De Luca and Giacomo Raffaelli’s first film Ernesto is ready to go

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- Entirely self-produced by the couple through their own company Freeres, this is an intriguing first film, both for the themes it explores and for the rigorous stylistic decision to shoot in 4:3

Alice De Luca and Giacomo Raffaelli’s first film Ernesto is ready to go
Nicoletta Cifariello and Federico Russo in Ernesto

Ernesto, by the couple composed of Alice De Luca and Giacomo Raffaelli who have just finished post-production on the title in question, might turn out to be next season’s surprise film, after a potential debut at the Venice Film Festival. Entirely self-produced by the two directors via their outfit Freeres, this is an intriguing first work, both for the themes it explores and the uncompromising stylistic choice to shoot in 4:3, in order to “offer up a few fragments of Ernesto’s life, as if the film were a lengthy reworking of the protagonist’s memory”, as the directors explain in their notes.

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Ernesto (Federico Russo) is an adolescent who wanders through the streets of Rome in search of himself. Chapter after chapter, time and people go by, but he continues to navigate his way through transitory relationships, hurting himself and others in the process. He takes refuge in happy times and in political ideologies, hoping to avoid suffering, but life will force him to grow up painfully. The protagonist is flanked by (nigh-on) newcomers Silvia Micunco, Leonardo Venturi, Ilaria Bevere, Nicoletta Cifariello and Luca Ingravalle, as well as the rising star Blu Yoshimi, who also appeared in Likemeback [+see also:
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Ernesto is a film about juvenile bewilderment, which reflects the crisis in thought afflicting our world today. Relationships are the guiding line of the narrative, which, over the course of the chapters, explores encounters with various characters, each of whom are as important and necessary as the other. The free and labyrinthine city of Rome acts as a lifeline for a generation who feel the need to find and to lose themselves, to begin and to start over”, the directors continue. The film’s division into chapters allows the viewer to follow Ernesto’s new habits, to leave behind the old ones and to show how we track the passing of time not in years, but in terms of the people we have loved, the mistakes we have made and the situations we have experienced. “The character of Tommaso, who’s the focus of Ernesto’s memories and fantasies, represents idealised love, which worms its way into our minds and prevents us from being happy with the reality of our lives”.

Before this feature film, De Luca and Raffaelli had shot just one short film with students from a Roman high school, which focused on the death of the young, Sicilian journalist Peppino Impastato, killed by the Mafia in the 1970s. As regards Ernesto, the duo can also put their names to the screenplay, photography and editing, while the score is the work of Corrado Giancoli.

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(Translated from Italian)

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