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'Tanner Hall' is a product of their differences

Filmmakers Tatiana von Fürstenberg and Francesca Gregorini are the children of famous parents and attended boarding school in England. But their film draws from their different experiences growing up.

September 13, 2011|By Amy Kaufman, Los Angeles Times

"When you grow up with a strong mother, I think it's very important to make your identity on your own. I was cautioned about that," Diane von Fürstenberg said recently of her daughter, via telephone from her New York office. "She was always very much her own person always."

Indeed, while the elder Von Fürstenberg is credited with designing the school uniforms seen in the film, she was modest about her contributions to the project.

"The truth is that she did the costume design, I just applied things," she insisted. "A lot of the clothes that are worn I think she found from my closet. We made the uniforms, but they were all conceived by her. I can take no creative credit on this movie, except for that I created her."

Though it's hard to tell now, the stresses of filmmaking, say Von Fürstenberg and Gregorini, nearly broke their relationship.

"At one point, I was like, 'Francesca, our friendship is on high-risk,'" notes Von Fürstenberg, the bouncier and more talkative of the two women. "We couldn't be codependent. It was not possible, because we had to service the project first. I just had to trust that we'd invested enough in our friendship that we could deal with everything after the production."

Given the way they finish each other's sentences — often laughing as they slip confidentially in and out of Italian — it's clear they did.

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