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1st Look: SPC’s The Italian

I say “damn you” to Michael Barker and Tom Bernard – the head honchos over at Sony Pictures Classics. If the holiday season doesn’t use up an entire box of tissues then the remainder will surely be used in mid-January courtesy of this tale about a Russian orphan. Today we get the 1st look at the poster one-sheet for what will be a great start for the 2007 calendar year for the subtitled-film specialistes. Along with the pass me the tissue foreign language drama The Italian (Jan.26th release), SPC will give us The Lives of Others and Offside.

Andrei Kravchuk’s film (which has won many youth awards at various festivals including a pair of First Film awards at Berlin) tells the story of a six-year-old who suddenly takes on responsibility for his own life. The questions facing Vanya are really tough: does he want to live a comfortable life as an adopted child of a loving family in Italy? After all, for an abandoned Russian child like Vanya it really doesn’t sound like a bad option. Serene life under the Mediterranean sun is awaiting him. But the boy longs to find his own mother, so he decides to set off in search of her. But before he can begin, Vanya must learn to read the file that holds the information he needs to find her. He embarks on his quest—and encounters a mysterious and dangerous world. The world of children is a universe with its own laws; a realm in which sometimes one’s heart speaks louder than one’s intellect.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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