In 2002, Mark decided to sit down and pen his first screenplay. Ten days later, Marcello’s Date (later to be filmed as Marcello Marcello) was written and within days, started to gain interest from the industry.
It went through three producer’s hands before being secured by Swiss/French director, Denis Rabaglia who, in 2007, brought it to life in Italy on a co-production through C-Film and Zero Pictures on the island of Ventotene.
The film went on to win best film at St Louis Film Festival in 2009 and the subsequent novel, Marcello’s Date has sold worldwide. Here’s the story and trailer:
Marcello Marcello: Italy, 1956. In the picturesque island of Amatrello, a unique custom keeps the young men of the village busy: when a girl turns eighteen, every boy is invited to bring a gift for her first date. However the gift is not for the girl, but for the father… who will ultimately determine which boy takes her on her first rendezvous!
Eighteen-year-old fisherman’s son Marcello doesn’t care about this tradition until he sets eyes on the enchanting Elena, the daughter of the Mayor, who has returned to the island and – according to the tradition – has come of age.
As time runs out and competition rises, Marcello comes up with the perfect gift for the Mayor. But getting that gift isn’t easy. Soon, he is forced to barter with the entire village, as everyone seems to want something from someone else. Marcello’s frantic quest ensues, evolving into a process of reconciliation among the village’s inhabitants.