The Silent Mountain: love and war on the Austrian-Italian border
by Bénédicte Prot
25/06/2012 - Five years after the success of the tragic Californian tale South of Pico and after last year’s documentary Global Warning, Austrian filmmaker Ernst Gossner is once again directing a fiction film. Since June 16, he has been shooting The Silent Mountain, a drama about the impact of the First World War on the inhabitants of the mountains between Austria and Italy, in his native region of South Tyrol.
Written by screenwriter Clemens Aufderklamm, the film’s story opens in 1915 with a couple in love: Andreas, a young Tyrolean played by William Moseley (who appeared in all three instalments of The Chronicles of Narnia), and Francesca (Eugenia Costantini from trans-Alpine television series Boris), a 17-year-old Italian girl from the neighbouring Dolomites. But their blossoming love affair is suddenly interrupted when Andreas is drafted up to join the army, after Italy declares war on Austria. This Alpine border region soon becomes the setting for tragedy, as neighbours become enemies, families are divided, and lovers are separated. The film’s prestigious cast includes Italian star Claudia Cardinale (see the photo, taken on the film set last week), Corrado Invernizzi (the doctor in Vincere [trailer, film focus] by Marco Bellocchio), as well as Austrian actors Fritz Karl and Emily Cox (Rammbock: Berlin Undead [trailer]).
Heinz Stussak is overseeing this € 4.2 m ($ 5.2 m) production for Sigma Film, in co-production with Gossner’s own production company, Vent Productions. Filming, in English and Italian, should last 42 days, and the film should be completed in January 2013.
Vienna-based agency EastWest Filmdistribution is in charge of the film’s international sales. One of the agency’s recent successes is the award-winning film Combat Girls by David Wnendt (Bronze Lola for Best German Film at the German Film Awards 2012).
Photo: Sigma Film - Gregor Khuen Belasi
(Translated from French)