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Italian screenwriter Luca Manzi has boarded Siamo Qui, Siamo Vivi (We Are Here, We Are Alive), the movie adaptation of an Italian Holocaust memoir from indie producer Arman Julian.
Manzi, creator of the Boris TV series, will join Avigayil Kelman as screenwriter on the period drama now in pre-production ahead of a 2023 shoot in Italy. Kelman is the great-granddaughter of Dr. Alfredo Sarano, whose World War II diaries written amid the Holocaust were turned into a novel by Roberto Mazzoli.
Earlier, Julian secured the film rights to the diaries by Sarano, a leader of the Jewish Community in Milan. The film will dramatize Sarano’s story of concealing a roster of Milanese Jews from the occupying Nazis to shield the local Jewish community from persecution.
Ultimately, he sent his family away by train to Mombaroccio for safety and stayed behind in Milan to save the lives of more than 14,000 Jews.
“I’m extremely happy to say that the wonderful writer Luca Manzi has joined our production to write the screenplay for our film with Avigayil Kelman. I know we have chosen the right team to tell this incredible story of struggle, courage and adventure,” Julian said in a statement.
The true-life Holocaust-era movie project has the cooperation of the late Sarano’s family. The film was first unveiled at the 2021 Toronto Film Festival, and Julian has since secured a number of historically accurate locations for the production in Italy. This includes using the Piazza Del Popolo in Pesaro to shoot scenes as they happened in July and August 1944, a location secured with the help of local mayors.
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