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Cifola’s Lion launches Tiziano Terzani biopic

EXCLUSIVE: Former Rai Sesto Cifola [pictured] touches down in Cannes with new company Lion Pictures International.

Italian industry veteran Sesto Cifola’s new sales company Lion Pictures International is developing an English-language biopic on late, legendary foreign correspondent Tiziano Terzani.

Lion has acquired rights to the famous Der Speigel Asia correspondent’s bestseller A Fortune-Teller Told Me recounting his travels by land and sea across the region after a fortune-teller warned him he would die if he took an airplane. 

Former Rai Trade executive Cifola launched Lion in March. It is a joint venture with Giuseppe Gargiulo, founding owner of home entertainment Cine Video Corporation and Compagnia Realizzazioni Cinetelevisive.

“Cannes will be Lion’s kick-off,” says Cifola. “Our aim is to build a compact, international slate. We want to represent films from all over the world. We’ll be in Cannes looking for international titles and co-producers for Fortune-Teller,” says Cifola, admitting he wants to emulate French and Germany sales companies with strong international slates.

‘I’ve seen a lot of colleagues taking this international approach in Europe and I want to do the same from Italy,” he continues.

Other new titles on Lion’s fledgling slate include Lorenzo Sportiello’s sci-fi drama Index Zero, starring Simon Merrells and Ana Ularu, which started principal photography in Bulgaria.

The slate also features Alessandro Piva’s Naples-set, Mafia drama The Crime Family, Davide Ferrario’s 45th Parallel (La Luna su Torino) about three people living in the same house in Turin. The title refers to the northern Italian city’s position just south of the 45th parallel. 

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