A film by Edoardo Ponti
A film by Edoardo Ponti
"Human Voice" is inspired by Jean Cocteau's iconic one woman play of the same name. Set against the backdrop of Naples, Italy, in 1950, this romantic drama tells the story of Angela, (played by Sophia Loren), a woman in the twilight of her years who rides the emotional roller coaster of her last telephone conversation with the man she loves as he is leaving her for another woman.
Virginia Da Brescia
Enrico Lo Verso
Erri De Luca & Edoardo Ponti
“La Voix Humaine” By Jean Cocteau (Editions Stocks - Comité Jean Cocteau)
Edoardo Ponti & Massimiliano Di Lodovico
Director of Photography
Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC
The legendary theatrical piece “La Voix Humaine” by Jean Cocteau, on which the film is inspired has been performed for decades by the greatest actresses of their generation. It is the holy grail of acting, intimidating most actors for its demanding emotional range and separating the wheat from the chaff. It is now the turn of film legend Sophia Loren to take on the challenge, fulfilling a forty year old dream to inhabit that role. Director Edoardo Ponti helms the film.
He teams up once again with world renowned and best selling Neapolitan writer Erri De Luca for the screen adaptation of the Cocteau piece, right on
the heels of last year’s award winning film “The Nightshift belongs to the stars”,short listed for the 2013 Oscars and winner of the 2013 Best Live Action short at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival.
The film features an all-star technical crew headed by Oscar-Nominated director of Photography Rodrigo Prieto, as well as award winning production designer Maurizio Sabatini and costume designer Mariano Tufano. The film is presented by Via Solitaria in collaboration with Rai Cinema for a MasiFilm production.
Sophia Loren is widely recognized as Italy's most renowned and honored actress. After entering a beauty pageant in 1949 aged 14, Loren was encouraged to enroll in acting lessons and appeared in several 'bit parts' and minor roles until the late 50s where Loren's five-picture contract with Paramount launched her career as an international movie star. Notable film appearances around this time including; Houseboat, That Kind of Woman, and It Started in Naples. It wasn't until her deglamorized performance as Cesira in Vittorio De Sica's Two Women that confirmed her status as an acclaimed actress. Loren won the Academy
Award for Best Actress in 1962 for her performance which made Loren the first artist to win an Oscar for a foreign language performance. Later notable films include Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, Marriage Italian-Style (for which she was nominated for a second Oscar), Sunflower and The Voyage. After starting a family in the early 70s, Loren spent less time on her acting career and chose to make only occasional film appearances. In later years she has appeared in American blockbusters such as Grumpier Old Men and Nine. As well as her Academy Award, Loren has also been awarded a Grammy Award, five special Golden Globes, a BAFTA Award, a Laurel Award as well as the Honorary Academy Award in 1991. In 1995 she received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievements, one of many such awards.
Virgina Da Brescia was born in Taranto, Italy, in a theatrical family. She made her debut on stage at six years old. At fifteen she began an impressive singing career in the “Carosello Napoletano”. She performed with the great Totò in the 1950, 1951, 1952 editions of the “Piedigrotta”, the celebrated Neapolitan musical festival. In 1956 and 1957, she participated in the prestigious “Festival di Napoli”. Her albums were released through Vis Radio, Universal and Cetra. After a successful musical career, she has returned to acting on stage with the most celebrated actors of the past and present times: Tina Pica, Toto’, Luisa Conte, but also Lina Sastri, Isa Danieli among many others. From 2000 onwards, she has co-starred in various TV series, namely “La Squadra” and “Amore Criminale”. Recently she has been featured in Matteo Garrone’s “Reality”, winner of the grand jury prize at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.
Enrico Lo Verso calls himself "a Southerner in the mountains.” Lo Verso was born in Palermo, Sicily, in 1964. From an early age he studied theater, before enrolling to the Experimental Center of Cinematography and the National Institute of Drama in Rome. Lo Verso began acting professionally on stage before making his film debut in 1988 in “Act of Contrition”, followed by “Boys Nerve”, “Nothing can stop us” and “Woman of honor”. In 1991, American director Michael Lehmann cast him in “Hudson Hawk”, alongside Bruce Willis. National popularity came in 1992 when he was chosen for the acclaimed “Stolen Children” by Gianni Amelio. Lo Verso worked again with Amelio in “Lamerica” (1994) and “Così ridevano” (1998).
Lo Verso also appeared in “The Escort” by Ricky Tognazzi and “Farinelli – Item Queen” by Gerard Corbiau, “Hannibal” by Ridley Scott, “Physical education of girls” by John Irvin, “Salvatore - This Is Life” by Gian Paolo Cugno and “Milano-Palermo: The Return” by Claudio Fragasso, among many other films. In 2012, he starred in “The Nightshift belongs to the stars” alongside Nastassja Kinski.
"Between Strangers" was the first feature film Ponti wrote and directed. It was produced by Gabriella Martinelli and starring an ensemble cast which includes Sophia Loren, Mira Sorvino, Deborah Kara Unger, Gerard Depardieu, Pete Postlethwaite and Malcolm McDowell. The film premiered at the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. It won 5 Genie Nominations, the Canadian equivalent to the Academy Award. Ponti earned the best first time filmmaker award from the Newport Beach Film Festival as well as an award of merit from the Los Angeles Italian Film Festival. In 2011, Mr. Ponti wrote and directed the romantic comedy “Coming & Going” starring Rhys Darby, Fionnula Flanagan and Sasha Alexander as well as “Away we Stay”, a branded short for the W Hotel Chain starring Helena Christensen and David Gandy which premiered in London.
In 2012, Mr Ponti directed, “The Nighshift Belongs to the Stars”, his first Italian language film, written by the Erri de Luca, and starring Nastassja Kinski, Enrico Lo Verso and Julian Sands. The film won numerous awards including the Nastro d’argento, as well as the prize for Best live action short at the 2013 Tribeca Film Festival and it was short listed for the Best live action short category for the 2013 Oscar race.
The same year he starred as an actor in Michel Comte’s directorial debut, a film adaptation of Madam Butterly, where he played the lead character, Pinkerton. Ponti’s past film credits include an acting starring role in the film “Aurora” directed by Maurizio Ponzi, for which Edoardo Ponti earned a “Nastro d’Argento” nomination, Italy’s prestigious film critics prize. The first short he wrote and directed entitled “Liv” was executive produced by Robert Altman as well as Michelangelo Antonioni, and was premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. He also produced and directed Eugene Ionesco’s play “The Lesson”. He then went on to adapt for the stage, produce and direct Nick Bantock’s bestselling epistolary trilogy “Griffin & Sabine” at the Spoleto Theatre Festival in Italy.
Erri De Luca, born in Naples, Italy (1950) is a writer, novelist, story-teller, essayist, translator and poet. He has published more than 60 books, numerous collections of short stories and poems, translated in more than 30 languages. He is considered by many literary experts "a master of the Italian language of the past two decades." His grandmother was Ruby Hammond, an American woman who came in Italy in the first years of the past century. His name, Erri, is an Italian version of Harry, his uncle's name. Erri De Luca started writing when he was a student. For about twenty years he has been a manual worker. His first novel, "Not Here, Not Now”, was published in Italy in 1989. He is a translator from Ancient
Hebrew and Yiddish, and is an appreciated translator of several books of the Ancient Covenant. He was awarded the France Culture Prize in1994 for his "Aceto, arcobaleno", the Laure Bataillon Award in 2002, for "Tre cavalli” (Three horses), and the Femina Etranger for "Montedidio" (translated: God’s Mountain). In 2010 he was bestowed with the German International Literary Petrarca Award.
Erri De Luca appeared in a cameo role in the movie "L'isola", by Costanza Quatriglio, and made his debut as a screenwriter and leading actor in the short film "Di la' del vetro" (Beyond the Glass), presented at the Venice Film Festival in 2011. In "The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars", a screenplay he wrote, he also plays a small role. De Luca has been a member of the jury at the Cannes Festival in 2003. He wrote and starred in several plays including the theatrical drama "In viaggio con Aurora" (Traveling with Aurora). De Luca contributes regularly to several newspapers and magazines. He is a passionate mountain climber. He currently lives in the country near Rome.
Massimiliano Di Lodovico began his career as a filmmaker in 2008 when he produced the commercial for Roma for you Basta Poco directed by Laura Luchetti and presented at the Rome Film Festival . In 2011 he produced his first feature film Hay Fever directed by Laura Luchetti and distributed by Walt Disney Italy . The film was presented at international festivals in St. Louis, Atlanta, Sacramento, Jaipur, Albuquerque, the Cleveland International Film Festival, the Fantasporto of Oporto and the Metropolitan Film Festival in New York where he won the title of best film.
In 2012, with the production company produces OH! PEN, he produced The nightshift belongs to the stars, a short film adapted from a story by writer Erri De Luca and directed by Italian-American Edoardo Ponti which won the Tribeca Film Festival, the Special Prize Silver Ribbon for short films and joined the short list of Oscar. In 2012 he produced RazzaBastarda, directed by Alessandro Gassman, written by Reinaldo Povod, a film that won the Silver Ribbon Award Hamilton behind the camera, the Bari International Film Festival and two nominations at the David di Donatello Awards .
He continued his charitable work with Romaforyou non-profit organization raising funds for the construction of four water wells in Africa with Delfina Delettrez Fendi. In 2013 he founded the Film Production Srl Masifil which produced The Human Voice by Jean Cocteau, adapted by Erri De Luca and Edoardo Ponti, directed by Edoardo Ponti and starring Sophia Loren.