Rai 1 is broadcasting a medical drama series Cuori that averages 4.5mln viewers based on real events, how did you create such a passionate and fictional story with real facts?
Four years ago, we came across a true historical anecdote that was too amazing to ignore. It was the story of a heart surgeon and an engineer who joined forces to patent one of the first artificial heart projects in the world. To us it seemed that everything was already there: two great personalities, an important mission and the fabulous 60s as a backdrop. After a long period of research, we realised that we wanted to tell the story of the lives of these great pioneers, who were living that golden age of heart surgery but we didn’t want to sacrifice the emotions of a great love story. Given that what’s always at stake in a hospital is the life or death of the patients, we believed that the love story had to be of the same intensity too; an absolute love that cannot be compromised and is therefore essentially an ‘impossible love’. By creating fictional characters who move within the context of these true historical events, we have been able to find the right balance.
What trends in fiction do you see in Italy? Period drama, romantic story, thriller and crime?
Period drama is our ‘piece de resistance’ but we are a bit of an exception in the Italian landscape. Italian broadcasters treat the genre with diffidence, because they are afraid that it creates stories for limited audiences. In general, the trend is to ‘mix and match’ genres in a story.
Right now, as always, crime stories are in vogue with well-characterized protagonists, stories that perhaps even contain social overtones, but which avoid ever becoming too dark so as not to create anxiety amongst audiences.
What are your next projects? Are you working on new dramas?
We are working on a large co-production with the Spanish company Zebra Productions. The story is based on an adaptation from Un mar violeta scuro a novel published in Spain and written by Ayanta Barilli, an Italian/Spanish writer and winner of the Planeta award.
It spans the whole of the 1900s where the lives of four generations of women from the same family are compared. These women, radically different in their approaches and the contexts they move around in, however share the same ill-fated destiny.
It’s an ambitious project but we believe the result will be a very contemporary story.