If you’re looking for a movie the whole family can watch during the holidays, look no further than Sean Cisterna’s 2019 “From the Vine.”
The film follows the adventures of Marco Gentile (Joe Pantoliano) an Italian-born Canadian living in Toronto who is experiencing an intense midlife crisis as he questions the ethics of his job and the purpose of his life. Just as he’s about to give a much-anticipated presentation to the shareholders of his company, he decides not to go through with it. Instead, he resigns and buys a one-way ticket to Italy, much to the chagrin of his wife and daughter. When he arrives in his birth town of Acerenza, a small village in southern Italy, he has a combative run in with the town sheriff, Luca (Marco Leonardi), a friend from his childhood who fills him in on a few of the changes since he left as a young boy. After another reunion with a few of the townspeople, he heads to his grandfather’s estate where all the magic happens.
A walk through the village with his imagination and nostalgia inspires him to revive his grandfather’s dying vineyards. He calls on the village and local wine experts to give him a hand, but the real challenge will be to convince his wife and daughter that this is the best decision for the family.
Cisterna offers insight into his experience shooting on location in this small town in Basilicata. “Usually, when we make a film, it’s in a larger city — like Toronto, where I’m from — where there’s a lot of red-tape and complicated hoops to jump through in order to film at a location. Working in Acerenza was the exact opposite — anytime we needed a location, the mayor would open doors for us. If we needed a specific prop, word of mouth would spread and it would show up on our set. And if we needed background extras, there was never a shortage of excited community members to draw from,” he recalls.
The spectacular cinematography and drone shots of the town and vineyards set the stage for this whimsical, inspiring story of one man who goes against logic to follow his heart.
To access the film via amazon, click here.