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Minerva Pictures brings “Love is a Gun,” the debut film by Lee Hong-Chi, winner of the Lion of the Future award at the last Venice Film Festival, to Italy!

24 November 2023

After distributing Alice Diop’s debut, Saint Omer, winner of the Silver Lion and the Lion of the Future at the last Venice Film Festival, Minerva Pictures, in collaboration with Rarovideo Channel and The Film Club, will bring Love is a Gun (2023), the extraordinary debut of the young Taiwanese director Lee Hong-Chi, to Italy in 2024. Successfully presented at the 38th Settimana Internazionale della Critica (SIC) during the 80th Venice Film Festival, it was awarded the Lion of the Future – Venice Award for a Debut Film ‘Luigi De Laurentiis.’

“In a balance between sentimental impulses and noir implosions, ‘Love is a Gun’ minimalistly crafts an (im)possible escape from an inevitable, seared destiny. The protagonist, Sweet Potato’s redemption journey, resembling an obstacle course, draws inspiration from genre cinema, steering it into an authorial reinterpretation from the first enlightening minutes […]. Lee’s chosen stylistic approach manages to encapsulate all the film’s and its protagonist’s urges, harboring an inevitable explosion beneath the surface, the only conceivable path to the idyllic Turtle Island” (Enrico Azzano).

Beatrice Fiorentino, the SIC General Delegate, described the film as “a passionate and powerful debut that reveals the talent of a new young author destined to become one of the main names in contemporary Asian cinema.

Released from prison, Sweet Potato settles for his small job on the waterfront, living off meager earnings and ignoring the advice to let go. However, he is dragged into the vortex of the past when the old boss, mother, and finally, friend Maozi reappear in his life. One by one, they forcefully seize his present, erasing any hope for the future. Only Seven manages, to some extent, to mitigate his anxieties. One day, against the backdrop of an oppressive, smog-laden coastal landscape, Sweet Potato is finally granted a meeting with the boss.

Love is a Gun will be theatrically released in 2024, contributing to Minerva Pictures’ ongoing efforts to promote high-quality cinematic works. In the past year, Minerva Pictures has distributed notable films such as Father & Soldier by Mathieu Vadepied, the opening film of Un Certain Regard at the Cannes Film Festival 2022, starring Omar Sy, and The Plough by Philippe Garrel, Silver Bear for Best Director at the 73rd Berlinale 2023, featuring Louis Garrel, Esther Garrel, and Lena Garrel.

The excitement doesn’t end here! In 2024, Minerva Pictures will see a year of highly anticipated releases. It starts with To Leslie, the extraordinary debut directed by Michael Morris, which won the Best Debut Film award at Hollywood Reporter Rome at Alice in the City 2023. The lead, Andrea Riseborough, received an Oscar nomination in 2023 for Best Leading Actress for her outstanding performance in this independent film.

Also on the horizon is Holly by Fien Troch, in competition at the 80th Venice Film Festival and presented at Alice in the City in the Sintonie section. Additionally, Eismayer by David Wagner, winner of the Grand Prize at the 37th SIC in Venice and two awards at Les Arcs Film Festival (Public Prize and Prix des Cinglés du Cinéma), and January by Viesturs Kairiss, Best International Film at the Tribeca Festival and winner of three awards (Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actor) at the 17th edition of the Rome Film Fest are on the way.


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Minerva Pictures at the 79th Venice Film Festival

4 August 2022



A film by ALICE DIOP

Court of Saint-Omer. The 30-year-old writer Rama witnesses the trial of Laurence Coly, a young woman accused of killing her 15-month-old daughter after leaving her on the shore of a beach in northern France. Rama intends to draw from the case a contemporary reinterpretation of the myth of Medea. But as the trial goes on, nothing is going as planned and the writer, who is four months pregnant, will find herself questioning every certainty about her motherhood.

In SAINT-OMER, Alice Diop confronts the unimaginable, placing us as close as possible to the defendant to examine the mystery of her actions with great sensitivity and intelligence. Cast: Kayije Kagame, Guslagie Malanga, Fatih Sahin.

An established French documentary filmmaker of Senegalese origins, Alice Diop made her debut in a fiction feature. Among her previous short films, Vers la Tendresse won the César Prize for Best Short Film.





A tribute to the unforgettable Monica Vitti in one of her most celebrated performances, Teresa la ladra, a film directed by her partner at the time, Carlo Di Palma. The restoration of the film was made in digital 4k by the Experimental Center of Cinematography-National Film Library from the negatives made available by Minerva Pictures. It will be screened in the Venice Classics section, which returns after two years of absence as part of the Venice Biennale International Film Festival.

Shot in 1973, Monica Vitti is Teresa, a widow and mother in constant search of new jobs, who is often forced to steal in order to survive. In the difficult historical period marked by the Second World War in Italy, the painful epic follows a fragile woman who will know the pain of prison, the loneliness of the asylum, and the impossibility of being reconciled with her own son. The cast also includes Stefano Satta Flores, Carlo Delle Piane, Michele Placido and Anna Bonaiuto.




The Film Club is the official partner of the 37th International Critics’ Week (SIC) and will grant, at the end of the festival, the audience award: The Film Club Award. The Film Club, which will be presented at the Lido di Venezia with a special event, with over 800 titles at launch, is the first Italian multichannel streaming platform that makes available to the Italian public an exclusive catalog of auteur and genre films, classic, cult, action, and rare, to watch without commercial interruptions, anywhere and anytime.

The Film Club’s initial offer includes the three channels Rarovideo Channel, Full Action and Minerva Classic. Soon, new channels will be presented that will further enrich the offer of an increasingly rich and varied catalog.

The Film Club is therefore a platform of great cinema and for great cinema, a project born from an idea of Gianluca Curti, CEO of Minerva Pictures, and from the work of the Digital Team of the company.





A film produced by Matango with Rai Cinema and Istituti Luce – Cinecittà, in association with Minerva Pictures. With Aura Ghezzi and the voices of Adelchi Ghezzi, Enrico Ghezzi, and Toni Servillo.

The panorama of human affairs encounters the “man with a movie camera”. His playground has no boundaries, his curiosity no limits. Characters, situations and places pitch camp in the life of a humanity that is at once the viewer and the thing viewed. But what are the last days of this humanity? Have they already passed? Are they now or still to come? As they wait the astronauts of the Atalante, in their promethean dreams, meet their own image in a bubble of water. Along the passages of steamers in the open sea, a caress, a sign of affection. In the mirror, camera in hand, he checks himself, always uncertainly certain, his own capture inside that short, too short, unit of time. But what we have learnt is that nothing lasts. Everything that they touch turns into time, into action, expectation and hope, Demeter reminds bustling humanity. Fragment of fragments. To make a gesture that eludes melancholy and games in a downright impossible movement. Kraus’s theater on Mars has not yet opened, we were busy anarchiving. And this drama can have no other viewer but humanity.