Oscar-winning director Gabriele Salvatores (“Mediterraneo”) is back behind the camera on “Napoli – New York,” a period immigration drama based on a story written for the screen by Federico Fellini.
Fellini co-wrote the tale of two Neapolitan kids who embark on a ship to New York to escape Italy’s early postwar poverty with his frequent collaborator Tullio Pinelli, a writer on the Italian maestro’s “La Dolce Vita” and “8 1/2,” as well as other titles.
Italian A-lister Pierfrancesco Favino (“The Traitor,” “Nostalgia”) stars as the chief officer of the ship which the two kids, named Carmine and Celestina, manage to board surreptitiously in the port of Naples, becoming clandestine passengers. The youngsters are on a mission to reach the U.S. where they dream of living with Celestina’s sister, who emigrated to New York two years earlier. Newcomers Dea Lanzaro e Antonio Guerra play the kids.
The rest of the “Napoli – New York” cast comprises Neapolitan actors Anna Ammirati and Anna Lucia Pierro, alongside Omar Benson Miller, Tomas Arana and Antonio Catania in smaller roles.
The “Napoli – New York” treatment was written by Fellini and Pinelli in the mid-1940s when Fellini was a struggling writer-director in Rome, before he directed his first film “The White Sheik” in 1952. The treatment’s manuscript surfaced in Pinelli’s archives in 2006 and was subsequently published in Italy. Adaptation rights were then purchased by producers Isabella Cocuzza and Arturo Paglia whose Paco Cinematografica is producing the film with backing from RAI Cinema and support from the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission.