Exactly three years after it launched its 01 Distributionlabel at the Venice Film Festival, Rai Cinema is lining-up what it describes asits hottest slate to date.
New acquisitions include Lakeshore's Sci-Fi movie AeonFlux, which Charlize Theron was shooting inGermany until she suffered a neck injury a few days ago, forcing the productionto a temporarily halt while she recovers.
01 has also acquired Italian distribution to New Regencytitle Mr and Mrs Smith with Brad Pittand Angelina Jolie, which is also currently shooting. Other pick-ups includeNew Line pictures The Notebook,and Summit's Alibi, withSelma Blair, James Brolin and Steve Coogan.
The slate also includes previously announced titles such as TheAviator, Shall We Dance and MillionDollar Baby.
Giancarlo Leone, the CEO of Rai Cinema, 01's parentcompany, says his aim is now for 01 Distribution to reach a 6-7 percent marketshare, up from its current 4-5% share. He points to the company'spartnership with Lakeshore, which buys US films for Rai Cinema, as one of thereasons behind 01's rise.
"We've also always been selective. Wedon't buy film packages or have volume deals. It's too risky, andeasy to lose money. No one can afford to risk nowadays. So we only buy one filmat a time."
Rai Cinema, whose film Ovunque Sei is currently playing in competition in Venice, isalso actively ramping up its production slate. New titles include anEnglish-language remake of Alessandro Blasetti's 1941 movie TheIron Crown, a fantasy tale about a crown, whichwas supposedly made from a nail out of the Cross of Christ and the metal ofRoman swords, and becomes a legendary symbol of justice.
Tilde Corsi's Rome-based R&C Produzioni isco-producing the movie, which is currently being penned by her producer-writerpartner, Gianni Romoli. Rai Cinema is currently looking for co-productionpartners in the UK and US.
On the international front Rai Cinema is also developingJohn Boorman's $20m Memoirs of Hadrian, which is expected to shoot in Morocco or Tunisia next year.
In the meantime, the company is also lining up a series ofItalian films, including the next film from Pupi Avati, who is currentlyfinishing his latest movie, Ma Dove Sono Le Ragazze'
The prolific director's next film will be the Euros3-5m comedy La Seconda Notte di Nozze(literally, The Second Wedding Night).Leone said the period comedy will be in the same vein as Avati's TheHeart Elsewhere, which was in competitionin Cannes in 2002. The new film will start shooting in December or January.
Other titles on Rai Cinema's production slate includeMarco Tullio Giordana's Quando Sei Nato Non Puoi Nasconderti and Marco Bellocchio's Il Regista diMatrimoni, which are both expected to shootnext year.