Almost fiveyears after his spectacular fall from grace, Italian former moviemogul Vittorio Cecchi Gori has announced - again - that he is back At a pressconference held in his luxurious Rome residence, Palazzo Borghese, theflamboyant producer said he expects several imminent legal victoriesthat will finally turn the tide and put him firmly back intobusiness.
"From thisMonday, I will be back at work. After the coup of which I was thevictim, after the tsunami that has hit me, the moment I had been waitingfor has finally come: you can call it the victim's
comeback,"Cecchi Gori said at the press conferenceon Saturday. O of his firstvictories is, he said, the cancelled sale of seven of his cinemas,which were due to be put up for auction at the end
of October. Thecinemas included Cecchi Gori's jewel-in-the-crown, e Adrianomultiplex in central Rome.
Cecchi Gori,whose production, distribution and exhibition empire irtuallyimploded in a morass of bad debt and corruption charges, id the auctionhad now been definitely cancelled. He also announced that he is aboutto add two more screens to the 10-screen Adriano.
Earlier thisyear, Cecchi Gori also won a legal battle against Merrill ynch, which wasordered to return Euros 160m it had seized from him to coveralleged debts dating back to his ownership of Italian
broadcasterTelemontecarlo (TMC), which was later acquired by Telecom
Meanwhile,Cecchi Gori said he is lining up a new international project,
to be adaptedfrom Il Postino authorAntonio Skarmeta's latest novel
El Baile dela Victoria.
The novel is setin Chile against the backdrop of the Pinochet dictatorship
and focuses on ayoung ballet dancer who meets two former prisoners.
Cecchi Gori saidthe film will either be directed by Italy's Ricky
Tognazzi or byMichael Radford, who directed the Cecchi Gori-produced
Il Postino. He said he hopes to attach Andy Garciaor Javier Bardem
to the project,although he did not say exactly when production is
expected tostart. The film will shoot in Chile.
Flanked by twolawyers but looking tanned and relaxed, Cecchi Gori
said he hadnever stopped working over the last few years, producing
a handful ofItalian comedies such as Carlo Vanzina's Il Ritorno
He also said thecompany's home entertainment division was highly
successful -Cecchi Gori holds DVD rights to Roberto Benigni's new
film TheTiger and The Snow.
He also said hisLA office had continued to be operational over the
years and thathe was proud of the fact that he had never fired any
employeesdespite his financial troubles.
Cecchi Gori hadpreviously announced the making of a film by Pasquale
Squitieri aboutseven-time prime minister Giulio Andreotti. However,
he said theproject had been shelved as he was not satisfied with
Reflecting onthe last few years, Cecchi Gori said the lowest point
came in 2001,when he was placed under house arrest after 16 armed
policemenstormed his palatial Rome residence.
"That wouldn'teven happen in Guatemala. Palazzo Borghese was surrounded
by Carabinierifor months on end." he said.
"I had never hada serious legal problem in my life. Sometimes it's
hard for some toaccept one man's success. My case is emblematic.
But you need tohave the strength to react."