Magazine article Screen International

Ettore Scola Unveils Fellini Tribute

Magazine article Screen International

Ettore Scola Unveils Fellini Tribute

Article excerpt

Scola comes out of retirement for first film in 10 years, How Strange to be Called Federico!.

Italian director Ettore Scola has unveiled more details of his upcoming tribute to his friend and fellow filmmaker Federico Fellini, which is due for release in Italy this autumn to mark the 20th anniversary of the La Dolce Vita director's death.

Entitled How Strange to be Called Federico!, the hybrid work combining archive footage and re-enactments of Scola's memories of Fellini is currently in post-production.

The original Italian title - Che Strano Chiamarsi Federico! - is an allusion to a line in a poem by Spanish poet Federico Garcia Lorca.

"I don't know what will come out of this. I am as curious as you are to discover it. The intentions and emotions are all there but it's not ready yet," Scola told a packed news conference in Rome's Cinecittà film studios on Tuesday.

The $2.6m ([euro]2m) production is a joint venture between distribution and production outfit Paypermoon, TV and film producer Palomar, state-backed promotional and heritage body Istituto Luce-Cinecittà with Rai Cinema and Cinecittà Studios in collaboration with Telecom Italia's SVOD platform Cubovision.

Cinecittà and Rome-based distributor Bim will release the film this autumn alongside a four-week SVOD run on Cubovision. The work is likely to get a Venice launch.


Scola, 81, first met Fellini in 1947 through the satirical Rome-based publication Marc' Aurelio, where the latter was a columnist and cartoonist. It was here that Fellini also met future collaborators Cesare Zavattini, Bernardino Zapponi and Ruggero Maccari.

"It was like a tiny faculty of humour where there were precise rules governing the detail and procedure of getting a laugh," recounted Scola.

The tribute picture will trace Fellini's life from that period up to his death in October 1993. Scola has co-written the script with his daughters Paola and Silvia Scola. Key characters consist of a young and old Fellini and Scola as well as Fellini's favourite actor, Marcello Mastroianni.


Scola's long-time cinematographer, Luciano Tovoli, is attached to the project alongside set designer Luciano Ricceri, who worked on Fellini's Juliet of the Spirits and 8 ½. Other veteran technicians include another long-time Scola collaborator, editor Raimondo Crociani.

Younger talent involved include composer Andrea Guerra, son of writer Tonino Guerra who co-wrote Fellini's nostalgic 1973 work Amarcord, and costume designer Massimo Cantini Parrini. …

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