EXCLUSIVE: Gravitas Ventures has nabbed North American rights to the Shia LaBeouf-led drama Padre Pio from filmmaker Abel Ferrara, slating it for a day-and-date release on June 2nd.
In the film penned by Maurizio Braucci and Ferrara, which world premiered at last year’s Venice Film Festival, it’s the end of World War I and the young Italian soldiers are making their way back to San Giovanni Rotondo, a land of poverty, historic violence and the ironclad rule of the church and its wealthy landowners. Families are desperate; the men are broken, but victorious. Padre Pio (Shia Labeouf) also arrives, to a remote Capuchin monastery, to begin his ministry evoking an aura of compelling charisma, saintliness and storied visions of Jesus, Mary and the Devil himself. The eve of the first free election in Italy then sets the stage for an historic, and metaphoric massacre — an apocalyptic event that changes the course of the world.
Cristina Chiriac, Marco Leonardi, Asia Argento, Vincenzo Crea, Luca Lionello, Brando Pacitto, Stella Mastrantonio and Salvatore Ruocco also star in the pic produced by Diana Phillips, Philipp Kreuzer and Maurizio Antonini. Hammerstone’s Alex Lebovici, Keanu Mayo and Kyle Stroud served as its exec producers, with Christian Mercuri’s Capstone Global co-financing alongside the filmmakers and handling worldwide rights.
Ferrara said in a statement to The Hamden Journal that “Padre Pio is a film about the spiritual journey of the great saint in parallel with that of Shia Labeouf who portrays him.”
Added Gravitas Ventures’ Senior Director of Theatrical Distribution, Cameron Moore: “Padre Pio will become a much discussed religious biopic for the unforeseeable future. Shia LaBeouf gives a show stopping performance with superb direction from acclaimed director Abel Ferrara. We are excited to bring the film to viewers all across North America.”
The deal for Padre Pio was negotiated between Gravitas’ Moore and Mercuri’s Capstone.