ABC57 – February 1, 2017
‘The Family Whistle’, the documentary about the origins of the famed Coppola family of musicians and filmmakers, presented by American Zoetrope, is running for a David di Donatello – the top award in Italian cinema – for best documentary feature and continues its path in the international festival circuit. The film premiered at Cannes last year and will screen at AmDocs in April, while FlexyMovies is handling international sales starting next EFM.
The famed Coppola family of filmmakers and musicians descends from Agostino Coppola, a poor immigrant to the United States from Basilicata, Southern Italy in 1904. Interviews and archival footage portray how the family history has inspired these artists, and how they continue to renew their ties to the homeland, connected by the characterizing whistle. The film is the directorial debut of Michele Russo, an actor in ‘Godfather: Part III’, is produced by Ulisse Cultural Association and presented by American Zoetrope, and features all the family members, including Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia and Roman Coppola, Jason and Robert Schwartzman, and Talia Shire.
It debuted at Cannes – only Italian movie in competition – positively reviewed by The Hollywood Reporter and nominated for Golden Eye and Golden Camera awards, Indie Spec Best Cinematography award at the Boston International Film Festival, screened at Telluride in the Backlot section, will be screened at the American Documentary Film Festival (Palm Springs, CA, March 31 – April 5), and is currently running for the David di Donatello awards as best documentary feature.
“It took years of research to make this project see the light. I mentioned to Francis that the history of the Coppola family resembles a fairy tale and he could make a movie… he told me – ‘You should do it!’ – and so I did,” says the director Michele Russo.
Alessandro Masi’s firm FlexyMovies is handling international sales starting next EFM in Berlin. “I am very proud to have the opportunity to work on this project, given that I am from Basilicata too and the great admiration for the Coppola family along with a passion for documentaries. We are truly looking for partners rather than buyers” declares Masi, Italian based in Los Angeles, who during his career so far has devised sales strategies and distributed award-winning titles and box-office hits such as ‘Enter the Void’, ‘Wendy and Lucy’, ‘The Legend of Barney Thomson’, ‘Kids in Love’, ‘Captain Fantastic’, and was awarded an Italian Golden Globe in the documentary features category for ‘Suicide Italy’ in 2013.