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ROME 2019

Bitter Years to be the pre-opening film of the 14th Rome Film Fest

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- Helmed by Andrea Adriatico, the biopic of Mario Mieli, one of the founders of the Italian homosexual liberation movement, is handled by The Open Reel

Bitter Years to be the pre-opening film of the 14th Rome Film Fest
Nicola Di Benedetto as Mario Mieli in Bitter Years

As announced earlier this week, the 14th edition of the Rome Film Fest will run from 17-27 October (see the news), and one day earlier, Andrea Adriatico’s Bitter Years will world-premiere as part of the pre-opening selection of the gathering in the Italian capital.

Bitter Years follows the important moments in the life of Mario Mieli, who was an intellectual, activist, writer, performer and artist, and was also one of the influential founders of the Italian homosexual liberation movement that started up in the 1970s. Born in Milan, Mieli was a key figure in the Italian cultural landscape, along with his friends architect Corrado Levi, painter Piero Fassoni, singer Ivan Cattaneo, activist Angelo Pezzana, writer Fernanda Pivano and poet Milo De Angelis. During his life, he had a complicated relationship with his parents and, in his twilight years, with his partner Umberto Pasti, with whom he had an intense love affair. Mario killed himself in 1983 before turning 31, but his legacy still lives on.

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Directed by acclaimed stage and cinema director Andrea Adriatico, Bitter Years was co-penned by the filmmaker together with Grazia Verasani and Stefano Casi, and aims to portray the life of the protagonist and the era during which Mieli lived and took decisive action. In the lead role is Nicola Di Benedetto in his debut film appearance, while Sandra Ceccarelli and Antonio Catania play the parts of Mieli’s parents, and Tobia De Angelis will step into the shoes of his final lover, Umberto. The rest of the cast includes Lorenzo Balducci, Giovanni Cordì, Francesco Martino and Davide Merlini, breathing life into Mieli’s friends.

Bitter Years was produced by Saverio Peschechera for Cinemare with Rai Cinema, in conjunction with Pavarotti International 23 srl. It was supported by MiBACT, the Emilia-Romagna Film Commission and the Apulia Film Commission. Turin-based sales agent The Open Reel is handling the world sales.

Apart from Bitter Years at Rome, The Open Reel will enjoy a strong presence at the 16th Seville European Film Festival (8-16 November), where Arima [+see also:
film review
interview: Jaione Camborda
film profile
]
by Jaione Camborda will have its national premiere in the New Waves competition, right after having its international premiere in the New Directors Competition of the São Paulo International Film Festival. Also, the Portuguese biopic Variações: Guardian Angel [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by João Maia will have its international premiere as a special screening at the Spanish gathering.

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