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The new animation feature No Dogs or Italians allowed by Alain Ughetto.

After the clay animation Jasmine, French director Alain Ughetto returns with his second stop-motion feature, No Dogs Or Italians Allowed Autobiographical material, but also a larger Franco-Italian-Swiss production than the previous Iran-based feature.

This is an autobiographical feature for its director, Alain Ughetto. He describes the quest of Luigi, his grandfather to move away from their Piémont village to the country of "La Merica, where the dollars grow up on trees" -only to settle down in France. He states that it's the story of thousand of Italians, who left their homeland to settle down in France, Switzerland and Belgium.

Luigi and his brothers set out from their native village in the Piedmont, off to discover “La Merica”, the fabulous land where dollars grow on trees. Finally, instead of crossing the Atlantic, Luigi puts his backpack down in southern France, with hands that could no longer work a depleted and stinting soil, he built our roads, bridges, and dams. Luigi was my grandfather, a dashing man with a romantic destiny. He fought two wars, poverty, and fascism. At last he met Cesira and founded a family, who cheered for the Tour de France and waltzed to Yvette Horner’s accordion. But his story is above all that of hundreds of thousands of Italian immigrants who left their homeland to settle elsewhere - Film Synopsis

No Dogs Or Italians Allowed trailer

In his Annecy 2020 WIP presentation, Alain Ughetto and his producer Alexandre Cornu explains that his initial search led him to 'Ughettera", an Italian village where all inhabitants were called with the same name. This led to a story of economic migrants leaving Italy to Southern France -where they faced both the hardships and the hopes of migrants around the world. 

His handmade clay approach (evident in Jasmine) was here complemented by a bigger crew, who were in charge of getting his ideas into action. The inside of pumpkins became houses, and broccoli became trees; the sets had to be as poor (and realistic) as the original village places. The story itself embeds the troubling times of early 20th century up to the Mussolini rule.

The excerpts themselves show a meticulous, almost neo-realistic attention to details, and is clear that Ughetto wants to balance the hardships with intermezzos of comic scenes, expertly directed here.

Watch the Work in Progress Presentation at Annecy Festival 2020

The film is produced by Les Films du Tambour de Soie, Foliascope, Vivement Lundi! and Nadasdy FIlm.

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