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‘Gomorrah’ Author Roberto Saviano to Make Directorial Debut With Animation Feature ‘I’m Still Alive’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Nick Vivarelli International Correspondent Italian star author Robert Saviano, whose mob exposé “Gomorrah” spawned both Matteo Garrone’s eponymous prizewinning movie and the groundbreaking crime series that plays stateside on HBO, is making his directorial debut.

Saviano will direct “I’m Still Alive,” an animation adaptation of his graphic novel illustrated by Israeli artist Asaf Hanuka (“Waltz With Bashir”). “Still Alive” examines the anti-mob activist’s life under armed guard since being forced to live with police protection shortly after 2006 when Saviano’s account of the inner workings of the Neapolitan Camorra crime syndicate was published.

Just like Saviano’s graphic novel, “I’m Still Alive” will feature illustration’s by Hanuka, an Eisner-winning cartoonist who is known, besides “Bashir,” for his autobiographical strips “The Realist” and for graphic novel “The Divine.” “I’m Still Alive” is being mounted as an international co-production between Naples-based Mad Entertainment and Lucky Red in Italy, GapBusters for Belgium, and Tel Aviv-based studio Sipur, formerly known as Tadmor Entertainment.

Saviano has penned the “Still Alive” screenplay in tandem with Neapolitan animation director Alessandro Rak, whose “Cinderella the Cat,” also comprised Naples’ Camorra gangs as a theme, and with writers Filippo Bologna and Stefano Piedimonte. “My film is the story of a 26-year-old boy sentenced to death by a criminal organization – a boy who grew up in a land where, in just a handful of years, the Camorra killed 4,000 people,” Saviano said in a statement for Variety. “The sentence comes to that boy because he has decided to write what he sees around him.

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