Set in the glossy world of professional, millionaire footballers in Italy, The Champion wonderfully pairs the talents of versatile veteran Stefano Accorsi (The Italian Race LIFF16) with an extraordinary Andrea Carpenzano (Boys Cry LIFF18) in this story of friendship, betrayal, and learning who to trust.
Carpenzano is Christian Ferro, a young superstar striker for Roma. Growing up in a rough area is a far cry from the millionaire lifestyle he is now living, which has attracted party-animal friends from home as well as the return of his long-lost father. When Christian’s determination to prove to his friends that he remains rebellious lands him in trouble again, his coach gives him an ultimatum: get back in line and pass the high-school exam, or get out. Enter Valerio Fioretti (Accorsi), who is enlisted to tutor the troubled player. But Christian’s world of fame and Ferraris clashes with Valerio’s humble circumstances.
Produced by Matteo Rovere and Sydney Sibilia, D'Agostini’s debut is a beautifully balanced blend of the spectacular and the intimate, delivering a moral lesson that is both identifiable and strikingly moving.
D’Agostini worked primarily as a screenwriter on many Italian TV series before making two shorts La via del successo (2005) and Sangre de perro (2007). He has been awarded the Silver Ribbon for Best New Director at the 2019 Nastri d’argento awards for The Champion which world-premiered at the Lecce European Film Festival.