Epic Chicago-Born Indie on Woman Resistance Fighter Attracts Top-Notch Cast & Crew Stephen Baldwin, Leticia Sabatella, Paolo Bonacelli
Chicago, IL, September 08, 2013 --(PR.com
)-- This is big – how first-time film director Rick Snyder of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre and first-time screenwriter (and former theater critic) Lucia Mauro attracted so many big names to a grassroots indie film on the life of obscure Brazilian revolutionary Anita Garibaldi. The film, titled ANITA, launched its second phase of financing through crowdfunding on September 6, 2013. Anita Garibaldi, a 19th century gaucho guerrilla fighter, battled against oppression, together with her famed husband Giuseppe Garibaldi, on two continents. Filming is targeted for 2014 in Sardinia, Italy.
Stephen Baldwin (The Usual Suspects, Young Riders) is signed to portray Giuseppe Garibaldi and will star opposite Brazilian film actress Leticia Sabatella (Sangue Bom, Desejo Proibido) making her American debut as Anita Garibaldi. Sabatella, a much-praised versatile artist in her native country, is “honored to have the opportunity to embody the spirit of one of Brazil’s most beloved heroines.” She adds, “In this film, Anita has been given a raw and realistic edge but also sensitivity. Beyond her revolutionary qualities, we get to know her as a wife and mother and the real, relatable challenges she faced for a woman of her time.”
Baldwin says he was drawn to the “fantastic story being brought to life by a phenomenal script” and believes “Anita’s story finally needs to be told.”
Since the first script reading at Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theatre (where Michael Shannon is an ensemble member) in 2010, ANITA has drawn a respected team of national and international artists who believe in the passion and relevance behind the project – especially at a time of global revolution. They include Italian actor Paolo Bonacelli (Midnight Express, Johnny Stecchino); American actress Carol Lawrence (the original Maria in the Broadway classic, West Side Story); Italian cinematographer Giulio Pietromarchi; Italy’s Donatello Award-winning production designer Emita Frigato (Noi credevamo); and Chicago-based actors Christian Stolte (Chicago Fire), David Pasquesi (Angels and Demons; To Rome with Love), and Anthony Fleming III (currently in the David Schwimmer-directed noir comedy, Big Lake Big City at Lookingglass Theatre). Acclaimed Spanish actress Lucia Jimenez (Ben Hur, The Kovak Box) recently joined the cast.
ANITA also has the full support of the Sardinian Film Commission, the Mayor of Bosa, Sardinia (primary filming location), and descendants of Anita and Giuseppe Garibaldi, including Costante Garibaldi, who is on the film’s legal team. Vintage tall ships and horses/wranglers (Cavalieri Macomer) have been secured.
Screenwriter Lucia Mauro (a former critic/arts writer for the Chicago Tribune, Chicago Public Radio, In Theatre Magazine) teamed up with director Rick Snyder, a much-lauded ensemble member of Chicago’s signature Steppenwolf Theatre since 1983, to nurture honest and compelling performances while getting to the heart of what drove Anita to become a resistance fighter in an occupied country. Both have been involved in the casting process, with certain roles written for specific actors.
“We’re determined to make a high-quality film that focuses on storytelling and acting…a beautiful merging of the theatrical and cinematic,” Snyder explains.
Mauro was inspired to write the screenplay for ANITA after discovering Anita Garibaldi’s bold equestrian statue, in which the revolutionary is cradling an infant and brandishing a pistol, on Rome’s Janiculum Hill. But she also added a unique element: an imagined encounter between Anita and American journalist-activist Margaret Fuller in a battered Rome under siege. Over the course of the film, both women – against a backdrop of intense battles and retreats – come to better understand their place in the world.
“This is a true grassroots approach to filmmaking with a tremendous amount of momentum behind it,” says Mauro. “Through the strength of our story and commitment to artistic collaboration, we’ve been able to build a dedicated international team with the shared goal of portraying Anita’s short but significant life in the most meaningful and relevant manner.”
ANITA is being produced by Joe Orlandino and Bob Abramoff. (Atlas Media Productions/A Mother of War, LLC Production).
ANITA is about:
Revolution. Sacrifice. And one unstoppable woman forgotten by history.
For more information and the official press kit, visit anitathemovie.com.