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Roberto Saviano to Direct ‘I’m Still Alive’ Animated Feature

The Italian mob exposé ‘Gomorrah’ author will helm the adaptation of his graphic novel exploring life as an anti-mob activist living with police protection.

Italian author Robert Saviano, known for his mob exposé Gomorrah, which inspired both the eponymous movie from Matteo Garrone as well as an HBO crime series, can now add director to his resume.

Saviano will helm the animated feature adaptation of his graphic novel, “I’m Still Alive,” which explores his life as an anti-mob activist living with police protection after his account of the Neapolitan Camorra crime syndicate was published. The impact to his personal freedom as well as the continued crime and corruption in Italy is explored. The screenplay was co-penned by Saviano and animation director Alessandro Rak (Cinderella the Cat).

“My film is the story of a 26-year-old boy sentenced to death by a criminal organization – a boy who grew up in a land where, in just a handful of years, the Camorra killed 4,000 people,” Saviano said in a statement to Variety. “The sentence comes to that boy because he has decided to write what he sees around him. There you are. That boy is me. I’m Still Alive is the film with which I decided to bring back to the screen what I have experienced up to now,” he adds.

The film will feature illustrations by Israeli artist Asaf Hanuka (Waltz with Bashir, The Divine), who also illustrated the graphic novel. I’m Still Alive is a co-production between Naples-based Mad Entertainment and Lucky Red in Italy, GapBusters for Belgium, and Tel Aviv-based studio Sipur. Mad Entertainment’s 3D animation pioneer Ivan Cappiello and animation director and illustrator Mario Addis will serve as lead producers.

“We immediately fell in love with Roberto Saviano’s graphic novel ‘I’m Still Alive,’ grasping the strength in the story of his tragic, powerful and exceptional life,” said Mad Entertainment chief Luciano Stella in a statement. Stella adds the “Goal is to make an animated film with a style capable of captivating the general public while also of realizing a great artistic vision.”

Sipur CEO Emilio Schenker stated, “It is an honor to work with a writer as significant as Roberto to realize his first animated feature film as director, and to see Asaf’s illustrations take life for the first time.”

I’m Still Alive will premiere at the Cartoon Movie co-production forum in France as one of nine candidates for the Eurimages Co-Production Development Award.

Laurén Alexa's picture

Cybersecurity specialist by day, investigative journalist by night.