Cecchi Gori flush with New Capital

ROME -- Vittorio Cecchi Gori, the Florentine film mogul whose productions have won five Oscars, Friday announced the creation of a new production company called New Capital.

Cecchi Gori, the 65-year-old son of the late producer Mario Cecchi Gori, announced the new company will focus on producing films for cinematic distribution and for television. Initial capital will be 10 million euros ($14.8 million).

The Cecchi Gori Group is one of the best-known names in the Italian film industry. But the famed production house's output diminished significantly in recent years amid a series of lawsuits and financial woes that led to a declaration of bankruptcy in 2006.

But the company is still best known for its backing of some of the best-known Italian films of the last generation, including three Oscar-winning productions: "Mediterraneo", which took home the prize for foreign-language film in 1992; "Il Postino" (The Postman), which won for best score and was nominated for best picture in 1996; and "La Vita e Bella" (Life Is Beautiful), which won three Oscars including best foreign-language film in 1999.

De Laurentiis building stadium-studio combo

ROME -- Aurelio De Laurentiis is mulling a plan that would combine his two most visible professional interests: moviemaking and soccer.

The Neapolitan daily Il Mattino reported Monday that De Laurentiis is planning the construction of a new 65,000-seat soccer stadium to house his SSC Napoli soccer club. The stadium also will include a film studio and the offices of Filmauro, the production company he owns.

The report was confirmed by an SSC Napoli spokesman, who added that the project would take about five years to complete. Filmauro declined comment.

De Laurentiis is not the only media tycoon involved in Italian soccer. Former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi controls both broadcaster Mediaset and the club AC Milan.

Famed producer Mario Cecchi Gori owned a film production company that carried his name and the Fiorentina soccer club, though son Vittorio gave up control of the soccer team a decade after his father's death in 1993.

The Agnelli family that controls carmaker Fiat also controls the club Juventus and has media-related holdings.

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