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9 items from 2014

Indie Sales Boards ‘Gomorrah”s Helmer Stefano Sollima’s ‘Suburra’ (Exclusive)

27 October 2014 8:12 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Paris–  France’s Indie Sales has boarded “Suburra,” the anticipated sophomore pic of Italy’s rising helmer Stefano Sollima, who wowed critics with his feature debut “”A.C.A.B.: All Cops Are Bastards” and the TV skein “Gomorrah, The Series” (pictured above).

Based on a novel by Giancarlo de Cataldo (“Romanzo Criminale”) and Carlo Bonini (“Acab All Cops are bastards”), “Suburra” was penned by Stefano Rulli and Sandro Petraglia, the scribe duo behind “The Best of Youth,” “Romanzo Criminale” and “My brother is an only child.”

An organized-crime thriller, “Suburra” focuses on the various incarnations of Italian Power – Politics, Vatican, Mafia – and how they meet and collide, leading to corruption, money laundering, drugs and prostitution.

Pic follows a gangster known as the “Samurai” who wants to turn the waterfront of a small town close to Rome into a new Atlantic City and receives protection from a corrupt politician and a powerful cardinal. »

- Elsa Keslassy

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Box Office for Italian Films Hits 30% Market Share, But Lower Pic Prod Coin is Worrying Trend

28 August 2014 10:00 PM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

In the year when Italian cinema took the foreign-language Oscar for “The Great Beauty,” the country’s film industry is going through a transformative phase.

First the positives: The local box office in 2013 was up, albeit a mere 1.4% to €624.9 million ($830 million), and the first quarter of 2014 shows a more substantial 13% box office uptick compared with the same 2013 period. This, despite Italy still being in the throes of its worse recession ever. More importantly, Italian movies accounted for 30% of last year’s intake. That’s among the highest local market shares in Europe.

On the downside: In January the Italian Culture Ministry disclosed alarming figures showing a 27% drop in Italo film investments in 2013 to $495 million, compared with 2012, while the country’s cinematic output remained substantially stable, at 167 pictures.

Partly due to pics shot digitally on the cheap, the average budget of an Italian movie these days is a modest $2.3 million.

Producer Riccardo Tozzi, »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Italy’s TV Producers Turn to Crime Series for Global Sales

8 August 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

Boosted by the international sales success of mob series “Gomorrah,” Italy’s expanding TV production community, led by Sky Italia and shingle Cattleya, is hoping to spark a trend among buyers, much as Denmark’s “The Killing” prompted the Nordic Noir phenom. Call this one, perhaps, Italian Immorality.

The rise of high-quality TV dramas is not new. For the past decade, U.S. skeins energized global sales for Hollywood product, and pushed the international creative community to raise its game. According to the MPAA, U.S. global film and TV exports stand at $14.3 billion. Now an invigorated

Italian TV biz wants in on an international business that is surging in Europe, where 42% of viewers list drama series as their favorite type of programming, according to a recent Eurodata TV report.

Italy’s hourlong dramas are all English-language, and two feature narratives with shady protagonists: “ZeroZeroZero,” from author Roberto Saviano (on »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Italy boosts film tax credits

7 August 2014 10:53 AM, PDT | ScreenDaily | See recent ScreenDaily news »

The Italian Government has increased the tax credits for bigger budget films in a bid to attract Hollywood movies and benefit domestic productions.

The Government confirmed relief available at 25% of qualifying production expenditures for international feature films, going from a cap of €5m per project to a cap at €10m ($6.7m to $13m) per company.

The overall tax credit for the cinema and audiovisual industry will increase from €110m to €115m ($147m to $154m). Both will kick in from 2015.

The bill has been spearheaded by the Minister of Heritage and Cultural Activities, Dario Franceschini.

Luigi Abete, president at Cinecitta’ Studios, said: “The measure taken by the government will allow our country to attract international productions, as happens in the UK. Cinecittà Studios can be attractive to Us productions - both for medium and large budgets - with positive effects on the entire metropolitan area of Rome.”

Riccardo Tozzi, president of Italian film body Anica, said: “We want »

- (Michael Rosser)

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Cannes Gran Prix Victory Gives Italo Industry A Confidence Boost In Tandem With Tax Breaks

28 May 2014 5:38 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome – Italy’s Cannes Grand Prix winner “The Wonders” is working wonders at the local box office and serving as a confidence-booster for the Italian industry, coming in tandem with good news that the government has raised the cap on the country’s 25% tax credit for foreign productions, considered key to luring more foreign shoots.

After 32-year-old helmer Alice Rohrwacher (pictured) received Cannes’ second prize from Sophia Loren, her sophomore work, on the inexorable evaporation of healthy rural traditions in Berlusconi-era Tuscany, bowed strong at the Italian box office, via Bim Distribuzione, weighing in at number five in the weekend frame, one position ahead of David Cronenberg’s star-studded “Maps to the Stars.”

More importantly, “The Wonders” scored the Italian frame’s second-highest per screen average, Euros 2,528 ($3,441). And attendance rate has since been rising thanks to positive word of mouth, according to a Bim rep. To date, Rohrwacher’s prizewinning »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Fresh Faces Emerge in Italian Film Scene as Biz Staggers

16 May 2014 10:00 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Italian film business, coming off an Oscar win this year for Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” should be on a roll. But the Italo industry’s story is more complex, as shrinking budgets and a stagnant box office hamper a filmmaking community that’s stubbornly slow to shed its insular ways. Yet fresh faces are emerging, thanks to co-productions across Europe, helping the sector to stumble ahead. 

Recently, the Italian Culture Ministry revealed alarming figures that show a 27% drop in Italian film investments in 2013 to €358 million ($495 million), compared with 2012, while the country’s cinematic output remained substantially stable, at 167 pics. The average budget of an Italian movie these days is a measly $2.3 million.

“The numbers show that the budgets of quality midrange movies are getting slimmer, and this is terrible,” comments producer Riccardo Tozzi, who heads Italy’s national motion picture association, Anica.

Tozzi predicts shrinking budgets would »

- Nick Vivarelli

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Weinstein Co Acquires Italian Crime Drama Series ‘Gomorra’

8 April 2014 8:27 AM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

The Weinstein Company has acquired rights to the Sky Italia crime drama series Gomorra, directed by Stefano Sollima (Romanzo Criminale). Marco D’Amore, Fortunato Cerlino, Maria Pia Calzone, Salvatore Esposito, Marco Palvetti star in the series based on Roberto Saviano’s bestselling novel, the inside story of the fierce Neapolitan crime organization Camorra. It tells the story of 30-year-old Ciro (d’Amore), the right hand of the Savastano clan’s godfather Pietro (Cerlino), and the ruthless war to take over “The System”. The series consist of 12 one-hour installments and in addition to Sky Italia is produced by Cattley, Fandango La 7 and Beta Film. Negotiations began at the 2013 Mipcom market. The deal is for the original series and no remake is planned as of now. “This is a project that caught our eye a while back for its world-class acting talent, as well as Stefano Sollima’s phenomenal abilities to craft a thriller like none other. »


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Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #114. Michael Winterbottom’s The Face of an Angel

14 February 2014 7:30 AM, PST | ioncinema | See recent ioncinema news »

The Face of an Angel

Director: Michael Winterbottom

Writer: Paul Viragh

Producers: Melissa Parmenter and Riccardo Tozzi

U.S. Distributor: Rights Available

Cast: Kate Beckinsale, Daniel Bruhl, Cara Delevingne

Further down on our list you’ll see Winterbottom’s The Trip To Italy. We should see a double dose of him this year, and a dramatic effort to boot. While 2012’s The Look of Love was a serious endeavor, this latest sees the director return to thriller mode. A screenplay adaptation from actor turned writer Paul Viragh should be an interesting element.

Gist: Both a journalist and a documentary filmmaker chase the story of a murder and its prime suspect.

Release Date: While we’ll see Winterbottom’s other 2014 title unveil at Sundance, we’re hoping to see this pop up in Venice and Toronto.

More Top 200 Most Anticipated Films of 2014 Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #115. Quentin Dupieux’s »

- Nicholas Bell

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Italy Bucks Europe’s Downward 2013 Box Office Trend

15 January 2014 10:45 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Rome – Bucking most of Europe’s downward box office trend, Italy’s box office in 2013 saw a 6 percent year-on-year rise in admissions to 97 million, and a 1.5 percent increase in grosses to $840 million, with Hollywood product accounting for a 53 percent piece of the Italo pie, exactly the same market share as in 2012.

The discrepancy between the percentage increase in admissions and grosses is due to a reduction in the country’s movie ticket prices this past year compared with 2012, which proved to be a smart move.

“We are among the few countries in Europe who are experiencing a positive time,” said Andrea Occhipinti, topper of prominent Italo distribbery Lucky Red and head of the country’s distributors, as the figures were announced at the Rome headquarters of motion picture association Anica on Wednesday.

Occhipinti also proudly pointed out that Italian movies account for a roughly 30 percent share of the 2013 home box office. »

- Nick Vivarelli

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