Genre – Mockumentary comedy drama set in Tuscany
Writer: Terence Gross
Producer: John Smallcombe
Executive Producer: Alberto Maria Gallotti
Cast: Film is cast, pending one character
An outrageous roller-coaster of a comedy mockumentary in the tradition of Spinal Tap. Il Santuario is a retreat centre nestled in the Tuscan hills. Run and staffed by a group of misfits and burned out 90’s ravers, it hosts groups seeking spiritual growth, weight-loss, detox and escape from everyday reality. Its six hundred year old walls bear witness to the entire emotional spectrum from desire to raging insanity that comes with the territory of spiritual seeking. Val, the owner, and his motley crew face, possibly, the most nightmarish week of their lives when they come up against a self-styled guru, an out of control group, war with the local village, experimental hallucinogens and naturally, a visiting psychopath.
2020 taught us many things. But one of the main things it has taught us is that community matters. Working together matters. Community can achieve great change. It can break through old patterns, and bring about transformations. We are already a huge community of 60,000 people and we can create something great together. A cooperative film, a story about life, hardship, friendship and love.
How to make a movie in a Bubble - Actually we’re making two -
The first is the feature film – Retreat
The second is the feature length documentary that follows the process of the Retreat Project from its launch through production in the UK and Italy, and right up to the premiere early in 2022.
How do we achieve this? Over the coming months international travel will resume. Work related travel will be easier than vacation travel.
We expect a rocky start and an uncertain summer, but have booked out our retreat centre in Tuscany, together with additional accommodation for cast, crew and visitors, from September 18th to October 16th. The summer season is over but autumn is usually balmy, blue and magical.
Our concept for production is to bring everyone in for these dates – tested for Covid before they can enter the location, and tested regularly throughout the shoot – with all shooting confined to the locations we have booked, and control. Production in a bubble.
Although this is a low budget film, production value will be at the highest level, using state of the art cine-digital 6k capture and a fluid shooting style relying on gimbals, drones and a multi-camera approach – the film includes some big bravura scenes – outside parties, live music, stunts - and some really outrageous events that we are keeping under the lid for the moment..