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Martin Scorsese to Shoot Sicilian Shipwreck Documentary

The Italian-American filmmaker will direct and produce the movie in his grandparents’ hometown, Polizzi Generosa

Martin Scorsese is going back to his Sicilian roots — he’s set to work on a documentary about shipwrecks off the coast of Sicily that will see him return to Polizzi Generosa, the Italian town where his paternal grandparents were born.

The untitled project, first reported by Italian news agency ANSA, is based off the work of American archeologist Lisa Briggs. The Cranfield University professor specializes in using DNA analysis and other tools on artifacts from shipwrecks to discover new information about the ancient history of maritime trade.

“We welcomed the initiative with enthusiasm,” Sicily’s cultural councilor Francesco Paolo Scarpinato said, who also noted that local officials are opening up all archeological and cultural sites to Scorsese for the project. The documentary will shoot over the summer in sites and museums in Sicily and its adjacent strait, with the Salinas Regional Archaeological Museum in Palermo among the locations selected and more to come.

Scorsese will produce the project through his Sikelia Productions alongside the Sicily Department of Cultural Heritage. Scorsese’s producing partner Chad Verdi is also attached to produce through Verdi Productions, along with LBI Entertainment.

Scorsese’s most recent film, “Killers of the Flower Moon,” was nominated for 10 Academy Awards including Best Picture and told the true story of a series of murders of members of the Native American Osage Nation. The legendary filmmaker has yet to settle on his next feature project, as among the publicly announced projects he is exploring are adaptations of Shusaku Endo’s novel “A Life of Jesus” and Marilynne Robinson’s “Home.”

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