Italy's Adriana Chiesa Enterprises has acquired worldwide sales rights to Francesco Ranieri Martinotti's Branchie - An Indian Dream, starring local rock idol Gianluca Grignani.
Based on Niccolo Ammaniti's novel, Branchie is a surreal tale about a young man who escapes to Delhi to build the city's biggest aquarium and undergoes spiritual metamorphosis. Co-produced by Italy's Iterfilm and Alia film under the patronage of the Cultural Ministry, the film also stars Valentina Cervi, Tomas Arana and Christopher Buchholz.
This year's MIFED marks the 10th anniversary of Adriana Chiesa Enterprises, launched by CEO Adriana Chiesa di Palma with a catalogue of 300 titles that she inherited from Italian distributor Medusa.
ACE handles 8-10 international films every year, with recent pick-ups including a new title by local horrormeister Dario Argento, Ettore Scola's Concorrenza Sleale and Pasquale Scimeca's highly-acclaimed mafia tale Placido Rizzotto.
"It has been a difficult 10 years," said Chiesa. "Independents are having a tough time because of the need to fight against newly consolidated groups with fantastic means. For us, it means being even more selective in our choice of films, while also trying to establish a new generation of filmmakers and back new ideas."
Meanwhile, Chiesa, who is vice-president of UNEFA, Italy's national exporters' association, continues to diversify the company's activities. In addition to co-producing Asia Argento's Scarlet Diva, ACE has also established a highly-prized catalogue of classical music events, including cathedral concerts by Spanish opera tenor Jose Carreras, Montserrat Caballe and Rostropovich; a Maria Callas Memorial concert held in Ostia's Roman amphitheatre; and Leonard Bernstein's Mass, which was performed in the Vatican City in the presence of 200 cardinals. The concerts, which were produced by Enrico Castiglione, have all been sold to the US, the UK and Japan.