A sold-out premiere of new short film, Brothers of Italy, launched RTS Isle of Man’s first ever event in late March at the Studio Theatre at Ballakermeen.
The Society’s newest regional centre welcomed a capacity crowd of 160, which included the island’s Lieutenant Governor, Sir Richard Gozney, and the film’s director and writer, Marco Petrucco.
Brothers of Italy, which was shot on the Isle of Man last year and made by London-based Hoofprint Productions, was inspired by the story of Petrucco’s Italian grandfather, Sante, who was held in an internment camp on the island during the second world war.
Discusing his experiences of filming on the island at the Q&A that followed the screening, Petrucco said: “Whenever you work around the UK, or anywhere in the world, there are always local crew who help with the transition to the area.
“But here on the island everyone was so welcoming and the quality was excellent – the local crew were at least half the team. I really couldn’t have completed this without them.”
Petrucco, who has worked on ITV Encore and Hulu’s Harlots, said that few people knew about the existence of internment camps on the island, adding: “We wanted to tell this story because it’s never been told before.”
Producer Samantha Seivwright (HBO’s Game of Thrones) and the film’s two leading actors – Niccolo Besio (Sante) who appeared in Sky Italia series Borgia and Marc Pickering (HBO’s Boardwalk Empire), who plays a military police sergeant – also appeared at the event.
Earlier in the day, school-age students from across the island met some of the Hoofprint production team. “Education is at the heart of the RTS and we are delighted, not only to be screening this locally made film, but also to offer students a chance to question people who have worked on such large scale TV and film projects,” said RTS Isle of Man Vice-chair Steve Babb.
He added that the Studio Theatre at Ballakermeen was the perfect venue to launch the new RTS centre, given “so many of the island’s performing arts and media students also began their journeys there”.