«Here’s my Gianni Versace»: the film by Calabrian Mimmo Calopresti at the Torino Film Festival


By John

“I would have preferred Santo Versace to call me and tell me: I don’t want your film about my brother at the Rome Film Festival.” The Calabrian director (from Polistena) tells Ansa Mimmo Caloprestithat today will present «Gianni Versace. The Emperor of Dreams”a film dedicated to the Calabrian stylist, first invited and then rejected by the Rome Film Festival.
«I believe that Santo, a very good friend of Paola Malanga (artistic director of the festival, ed.) simply told her “I don’t want to participate” and she satisfied him», explained Calopresti yesterday, returning to the controversy. Then, to justify the exclusion, the artistic director of the Capital’s festival defined Calopresti’s film as “unsuitable” for official screening.

Have you ever heard of Santo Versace since then?
«No, we just texted each other», replies the director.

And who was notified of the film’s exclusion from the Rome Film Festival?
«Malanga herself said this to the producers of Quality, Mariella Li Sacchi and Amedeo Letizia».

Where are you at now?
«We are looking for a productive agreement with Versace, it will be difficult, but I believe it will come. They are in production with Minerva Pictures and a clarification is needed to be able to go out in theaters. Then there are also the rights to sell it abroad”, underlines Mimmo Calopresti.
As for the presence in Turin, «I must say that I am a very good friend of Steve Della Casa (the artistic director of the Festival) and then in the end the films are more important than the controversies».

Gianni Versace. The emperor of dreams” begins in Reggio Calabria, where a young Gianni Versace (Leonardo Maltese) observes and learns the trade of his mother Franca (Vera Dragone) who is a particularly gifted and ingenious seamstress in their small apartment. His passion for creating clothes was born already in that period, in which he also discovered his sexuality which he did not try to hide for fear of the judgment of his fellow villagers.
In 1971 Gianni moved to Milan where his brilliant rise in the world of fashion began. His brothers, Santo and Donatella, work alongside him and create together with him one of the most important brands in Italian couture. An original and bold style that soon became internationally famous and crossed the ocean, also establishing itself in the United States.
The heart of the film is precisely the portrait of the Calabrian designer, who died in July 1997, murdered in his home in Miamitraced with clear precision and at the same time with extreme humanity by Calopresti and which comes from a very large archive material and also from the testimonies and stories of relatives, illustrious friends and some great international stars (from Valeria Bruni Tedeschi to Elton John), who they paid homage until his tragic death.