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Alice Rohrwacher Directed and Alfonso Cuarón Produced "Le Pupille" to Receive World Premiere in Cannes Tomorrow

Alice Rohrwacher brings her short, “Le Pupille,” which she wrote and directed, to The French Riviera. The Italian filmmaker is a two-time Cannes prize winner for her notable features, “The Wonders” and “Happy as Lazzaro.” Shot on Super 16 and in 35mm format, “Le Pupille” is set to premiere during Rohrwacher’s scheduled masterclass as part of Cannes’ “Rendez-vous With...” series on May 27 at Salle Debussy.


Five-time Academy Award®-winner Alfonso Cuarón produced the short in collaboration with Esperanto Filmoj and his long-time Academy Award-nominated producing partner, Gabriela Rodriguez, as well as Rohrwacher’s long-time producer, tempesta’s Carlo Cresto-Dina. The Disney short was funded through its Disney Branded Television division. Following Cannes, the film will travel the festival circuit before premiering on Disney+ later this year.


When Cuarón asked Rohrwacher if she’d like to make a short film about Christmas, Rohrwacher recalled “the image of a large pink cake and many fascinated pupils staring at it” from a little story she had read many years earlier about Elsa Morante, one of Italy’s most celebrated writers of the 20th century, sending her good friend Goffredo Fofi a letter of season’s greetings. “Her splendid letter described the fortunes of a zuppa inglese, a cake like a trifle, that had ended up in a religious boarding school during the festive season,” Rohrwacher noted. “It was imagining paths crossing in the boarding school, and Christmas approaching in the thoughts and actions of the orphan girls left alone there with four nuns in a time of scarcity and war that the film was born.”


“Le Pupille” is a coming-of-age tale of innocence, greed and fantasy. In Rohrwacher’s words, “It’s a film about desires, pure and selfish, about freedom and devotion, about the anarchy that is capable of flowering in the minds of the girls within the confines of the strict boarding school. Though the obedient girls can’t move, their pupils can dance the unrestrained dance of freedom.”


Upon completion of the short film, Cuarón remarked, “It was an honor to collaborate with Alice, who I believe is one of the most important filmmakers right now.”


“Le Pupille is an incredibly beautiful film that places Alice Rohrwacher’s impressive writing and directing talent on full display,” added Peter Rice, chairman, Disney General Entertainment. “We’re very grateful that Alfonso believed Disney was the perfect home for this fable, and we were very proud Thierry invited us to introduce it to the world at Cannes.”


The cast features Alba Rohrwacher, actor-director Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Melissa Falasconi, Carmen Pommella, Greta Zuccheri Montanari, Luciano Vergaro — or “Catirre” — and Tatiana Lepore.


About Tempesta

Founded in 2009 by Carlo Cresto-Dina, Tempesta has quickly gained a reputation for discovering and nourishing European film talents. Based in Bologna (Italy) and London, Tempesta produced all of Alice Rohrwacher’s features and shorts, Leonardo Di Costanzo’s L’intervallo (Venice 2012), The Intruder (Quinzaine Cannes 2017) and The Inner Cage (Venice 2021) plus a string of successful features by young European directors including Swingride, Chiara Bellosi’s second feature premiered at Berlinale 2022. From London, Tempesta produced Wildfire (Toronto and London FF 2020), Cathy Brady’s first feature film. TV projects include Once Upon a Time to Come by Alice Rohrwacher and Studio Battaglia. “Le Pupille” adopted EcoMuvi, developed by tempesta, the international protocol for certified environmental sustainability on film and audiovisual productions.


About Esperanto Filmoj

Cuarón’s UK-based film and tv production company, Esperanto Filmoj, known for producing ROMA amongst other titles, is currently in production on Disclaimer for Apple TV+. The series, executive produced by Gabriela Rodriguez and adapted for the screen, directed by and executive produced by Cuarón, stars Academy Award®-winners Cate Blanchett and Kevin Kline, Academy Award®-nominees Sacha Baron Cohen and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and SAG Award®-winner, HoYeon.


About Disney Branded Television

Disney Branded Television encompasses the creative storytellers, and production and marketing teams responsible for Disney-branded television series, movies and other programming spanning live-action, animated and unscripted formats. The group helps fuel the Disney+ streaming platform and Disney Channel, Disney XD and Disney Junior linear networks with content geared toward kids, tweens, teens and families, with stories that are imaginative, aspirational and reflective of their world and experiences. Recent projects include “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series,” “Monsters at Work,” “The Mysterious Benedict Society” and “Marvel’s Spidey and his Amazing Friends.” Disney Branded Television has created some of the most iconic and award-winning properties and franchises, including Peabody Award winners “Doc McStuffins” and “The Owl House”; Emmy® Award winners “Big City Greens” and “Elena of Avalor”; the beloved “Mickey Mouse” cartoon shorts plus the Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) franchise, comprised of more than 100 titles.


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