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Indie producer Arman Julian has secured the film rights to Siamo Qui, Siamo Vivi (We Are Here, We Are Alive), a true-life account by writer Roberto Mazzoli based on the diaries of Dr. Alfredo Sarano during World War II in Italy.
Julian will develop the Holocaust-era movie adaptation as a likely 2023 European co-production.
“Aided by the Catholic priest Padre Sant Rafael, they risked their lives to hide over three hundred souls including beneath the tunnels of the Convent Beto Sante. Incredibly, while there, Padre Sant Rafael helped Erich Eder a young officer of the Wehrmacht and a devoted Catholic who was in charge of the area to embrace his fath and betray Hitler by not killing those hiding in the convent including the Sarano family,” Julian said in a statement about turning the war-time diaries into a movie.
Dr. Sarano in 1944 concluded a roster of all Milan’s Jews needed to be kept out of the hands of the occupying, Nazis, or the Jewish community faced even graver danger. Ultimately, he sent his family away by train to Pesaro /Mombaroccio for safety and stayed behind in Milan to save the lives of over 14,000 Jews.
Journalist Mazzoli said in his own statement: “Thanks to the sensitivity of Arman Julian, the words of Alfredo Sarano written almost 80 years ago will return to rekindle those lights that illuminate the darkness of the Shoah.”
The movie project has the cooperation of the late Alfredo Sarano’s family. “Our story between Milano, Pesaro, Mombaroccio is a story of heroes that succeeded to save people. We hope that Arman Julian’s film production will give audiences the message that we received from our parents: Alfredo and Diana Sarano, a message of courage, trust and hope for a better future for the next generation,” Alfredo Sarano’s youngest daughter Miriam said in her own statement.
This story first appeared in The Hollywood Reporter’s Sept. 11 daily issue at the Toronto International Film Festival.
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