After shooting in the most evocative corners of Venice and Treviso, the set of Across The River And Into The Trees, an international film adaptation of Ernest Hemingway‘s novel, written by the author while he was in Cortina D’Ampezzo, will be set in the splendid setting of the restored Sant’Eustachio Abbey in Nervesa della Battaglia, in Veneto.
This is an ambitious production – the film will be presented at the same time as the Toronto Film Festival and the Mostra del cinema di Venezia in September – but also a committed and significant one, reflecting the cultural promotion work that Ermenegildo Giusti and his company have been carrying out for years in these places.
The Abbey of Sant’Eustachio is an ancient 12th-century Benedictine monastery that was reduced to ruins by bombing during the Great War and abandoned. Today, the Abbey is a historic-naturalistic landmark in the Marca Trevisana thanks to the interest and vision of Giusti, who promoted and financed its restoration with the aim of returning an asset of great historical, archaeological and architectural value to the community.
Hosting such an important set in the Abbey is an immense honour and a great satisfaction,” says Giusti, “I have been in constant contact with the production team for two years, precisely so as not to miss this invaluable opportunity. It has always been my aim to promote the wonders of my territory, making Montello speak the language of the world”.
The protagonist of the novel on which the film is based is Richard Cantwell, an American officer serving in Italy in 1946 immediately after the Second World War, a semi-autobiographical portrait of Hemingway, who lived his experience as a volunteer with the American Red Cross in the Veneto at the end of the Great War.
American actor Liev Schreiber will play the role of Hemingway, flanked by a cast of international names, including Josh Hutcherson (who appeared in the Hunger Games saga) and many Italians – Matilda De Angelis, Laura Morante, Sabrina Impacciatore, Giancarlo Giannini, Giulio Berruti, Alessandro Parrello and Maurizio Lombardi.
It is directed by Paula Ortiz, a famous Spanish director and screenwriter. Across the River and Into the Trees is not her first film adaptation of a great writer’s work: with La Novia (2015), inspired by Federico Garcia Lorca’s play Nozze di sangue (Blood Wedding), she obtained 12 nominations at the prestigious Goya Awards.
The film was produced by Robert MacLean of Tribune Pictures and the screenplay by Bafta nominee Peter Flannery.