The Toronto International Film Festival announced that the 2019 edition of Platform will close with the International Premiere of Pietro Marcello’s Martin Eden, a daring and singular adaptation of the 1909 novel of the same title. The film is Marcello’s much anticipated second narrative film, following his debut, Lost and Beautiful , and several documentary shorts and features.
“With shades of Roberto Rossellini, Luchino Visconti, and other great Italian masters, Martin Eden is a captivating literary adaptation that confirms Marcello as one of the most talented directors of his generation,” says Platform Co-Curator Andréa Picard. “Shot in Super 16mm, the film’s formal brilliance makes it a standout in an already stellar year for the programme. We are delighted to be closing Platform with such an exciting, remarkable epic.”
Based on the Jack London novel, Martin Eden features a sailor (Luca Marinelli) trying to remake himself as a writer, in this passionate and timeless story of class consciousness and failed ideals.
“Martin Eden was a complex film to make, as a director and as a producer,” said Marcello. “We started from one of the great novels of American literature and brought it to Italy, across the ocean, and across the entire 20th century with the sailor that is our title character. We are happy to return across the Atlantic with him to Toronto. Being selected at the Festival, and particularly in the Platform competition, fills us all with pride and the hope that the film will get the international attention to carry it around the world.”
The film is eligible for the Toronto Platform Prize, an award of $20,000 CAD given to the best film in the programme, selected by a three-person jury. Named after Jia Zhang-ke’s trailblazing second feature, the Toronto International Film Festival’s Platform programme champions bold directorial visions.
The Italian film selections for TIFF are coordinated by Istituto Luce Cinecittà - Filmitalia.