Bérénice Bejo Joins Nanni Moretti-Starrer ‘Colibrì’ Which Kicks off Sales at Virtual Cannes (EXCLUSIVE)

Oscar-nominated French actor Bérénice Bejo (“The Artist”) has joined Pierfrancesco Favino (“The Traitor”), Nanni Moretti, and the Italian cast of romantic drama “Il Colibrì,” which has started shooting in Rome.

Fandango Sales is launching sales at the virtual Cannes market on this high-profile drama directed by Francesca Archibugi (“A Question of the Heart”) based on the eponymous novel by Sandro Veronesi, winner of Italy’s top literary prize, the Premio Strega 2020. The book is now set for translation in 25 countries, including the U.S.

Domenico Procacci’s Fandango, which is producing the €7.85 million ($9.3 million) film with RAI Cinema, has set it up as an Italian-French co-production by teaming up with Anne-Dominique Toussaint Paris-based Les Films des Tournelles. The two companies previously collaborated two decades ago on Emanuele Crialese’s Sicily-set “Respiro,” which in the early aughts made an international splash.

“Colibrì,” which translates literally as “Hummingbird,” is set over several decades. Pic sees Favino play a tormented character named Marco Carrera who starting from the early 1970s onwards is in a reciprocated platonic love affair love with a woman named Luisa Lattes (Bejo).

Marco marries another woman, Marina, played by Kasia Smutniak (“Devils”) with whom he fathers a daughter before they become estranged. Moretti – in his guise here as a thesp – plays a psychoanalyst who coaches Carrera as he efforts to stay strong in the face of adversity. Besides having a romance at its core, the film is also a saga of an unconventional Florentine family through several generations.

The rest of the A-list Italian cast of Colibrì comprises Laura Morante (“The Son’s Room”) and Sergio Albelli, as Marco Carrera’s parents, and Benedetta Porcaroli (“Baby”) as his daughter.

Archibugi penned the screenplay with Laura Paolucci and Francesco Piccolo (“My Brilliant Friend”).

“It’s a wonderful book that I identified with as though it were my own autobiography,” Archibugi said in a statement, adding that she is “moved” by the bravura of the film’s cast.

The film’s cinematographer is Luca Bigazzi (“The Great Beauty”) while Esmeralda Calabria (“Bad Tales,” “We Have a Pope”) is the editor.

The nine-week “Colibrì” shoot is taking place in Rome, Paris, Florence and the Tuscan coast.

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