May 27,2011

UK actors Max Irons and Claire Foy set to star in Boris Damast’s Vivaldi

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Celsuis handling international sales on the historical drama to shoot this autumn; Patricia Riggen also planning different Vivaldi project.

UK actors Max Irons and Claire Foy are set to be cast in Boris Damast’s long-gestating historical drama Vivaldi which will begin principal photography this September at locations in Venice, Bruges, Hungary and Germany.

The producers are also now in the final stages of negotiations with Elle Fanning, Neve Campbell, Jacqueline Bisset, Tom Wilkinson, Alfred Molina and Sebastian Koch to join the cast.

The screenplay has been co-written by director Damast with Jeffrey Freedman and is based on the true story of how the headstrong genius and priest Antonio Vivaldi turned a talented, but traumatised group of girls – the illegimate daughters of courtesans – into a world-class orchestra which played the great concert halls of Venice and, ultimately, for the Pope. Vivaldi is exiled and separated from his beloved girls when his maverick ways arouse the suspicion of the powerful and scheming Venetian society. But, on learning of the nature of the dark plot against them, the composer does all in his power to rescue his pupils, his career and the very integrity of the city of Venice.

The film is being produced in conjunction with Andrea Kikot of Vivaldi UK Ltd., with Jean Luc van Damme of Belgium’s Banana Film, Harald Reichebner of Luxembourg/Germany-based European Enterprises, Mirko Ikonomoff of Italy’s Victory International, Hannes Schalle of Germany’s Moonlake Entertainment, and Jozsef Cirko of HCC Media Group in Hungary.

International sales are being handled by London-based Celsius Entertainment.

Meanwhile, another film project on the Italian composer’s life – although known as Vivaldi – is being prepared with Mexican-born filmmaker Patricia Riggen attached to direct a screenplay by Kevin Lund and T.J. Scott about Vivaldi’s alleged forbidden love for the soprano Anna Tessiero Giro.

The names of Luke Evans, Jessica Biel, Sir Ben Kingsley and German-American violin virtuoso David Garrett have been cited in the past in connection with this international production by Germany’s Zeitsprung Entertainment and Raffaella de Laurentis’ Raffaella Productions with the ARD network’s Degeto Film.

Moreover, regional funding totalling over €2m has been granted so far for Riggen’s take on Vivaldi’s life by Filmstiftung NRW, FFF Bayern and MFG Baden-Württemberg.

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