The Italian Almanac

princess and prince on their wedding day

Italian Television - August 31

You could say it was written in the stars. In 2003, French television, film and stage actress Clotilde Courau married Prince Emanuele Filiberto of Savoy, acquiring the title of Princess of Piedmont and Venice. Now she is to work in Italy for the first time, playing Princess Giovanna of Savoy.

The two-part TV film, directed by Maurizio Zaccaro, will be produced by Rizzoli and RTI for Mediaset. Ms Courau will be the sister of Mafalda (played by Stefania Rocca), the princess who died in Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald in 1944.

Ms Courau is quick to point out,“My part is small, but significant.Mafalda was very close to Giovanna. In fact, she was arrested by the Germans and deported on her way back from Sofia, where she had been attending the funeral of King Boris III of Bulgaria, the husband of her beloved sister”.

The princess is enthusiastic about the role she will be playing.“They did me a huge favor by offering me the part”.Yet she makes no secret of having thought long and hard about accepting the role.“I asked myself a lot of questions about whether I should make a film in Italy.Then I realised it was very important to me to find out about the arts in Italy by taking part in a historical project.I was able to combine two things.I could get to know an Italian cinema product, and I could explore the history of my new family”.