The Protagonists (1999 film)

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The Protagonists
Directed byLuca Guadagnino
Written byLuca Guadagnino
Produced by
  • Fulvio Colombo
  • Massimo Vigliar
CinematographyPaolo Bravi
Edited byWalter Fasano
Music byAndrea Guerra
  • Surf Film
  • Medusa Film
  • Tele+
Distributed byMedusa Distribuzione
Release dates
  • 8 September 1999 (1999-09-08) (Venice)
  • 10 September 1999 (1999-09-10) (Italy)
Running time
87 minutes
  • English
  • Italian

The Protagonists is a 1999 crime thriller film written and directed by Luca Guadagnino in his directorial debut. It stars Tilda Swinton and Fabrizia Sacchi.

The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, 1999, before being released on September 10, 1999, by Medusa Distribuzione.



The film chronicles an Italian film crew who are in London making a reconstruction of the real life killing of Egyptian chef Mohamed El-Sayed by the two 19-year-olds Jamie Petrolini and Richard Elsey in 1994.


Production on the film began in 1998, with principal photography taking place in London.[1][2]


The film had its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 8, 1999.[3][4] It was released in Italy on September 10, 1999, by Medusa Distribuzione.[5]

It was released in the United Kingdom on October 13, 2014.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

The film received negative reviews from critics.[7]


  1. ^ Prospero (February 10, 2016). "Luca Guadagnino talks to The Economist about "A Bigger Splash"". Economist. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  2. ^ Barnes, Brooks (June 11, 2010). "A Guilt Trip That Begot a Partnership". The New York Times. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  3. ^ Shoard, Catherine (April 1, 2010). "Tilda Swinton and Luca Guadagnino: a match made in arthouse cinema heaven". The Guardian. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  4. ^ "Luca". Frenesy Film Company. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  5. ^ "The Protagonists". MUBI. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  6. ^ "The Protagonists" (PDF). Fetch Press. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  7. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (January 20, 2010). "Director to Watch: Luca Guadagnino". Variety. Retrieved June 23, 2017.

External links[edit]