Filmalbatros, the outfit set up for Italian director Marco Bellocchio's competition film The Hour Of Religion (L'Ora Di Religione), is branching out for a wider production slate.

The company was established a year ago as a joint venture between Bellocchio and Sergio Pelone's company Bottom Line and is now extending into third party production.

The company has optioned a Nikolas Mutschlechnev and Marie Giaramidaro script adapted from the opera The Translator (Il Traduttore) and will select a director in the near future.

It is now in post-production on Bellocchio's Addio Del Passato, a documentary feature on the music of Giuseppe Verdi in Piacenza. It will be released in time for the composer's 100th anniversary celebrations.

Filmalbatros is now also in preparation on Bellocchio's new effort, an untitled picture about the kidnapping and eventual murder of prominent politician Aldo Moro. Like The Hour Of Religion, it will be produced in partnership with RAI Cinema. 'He has delivered a first draft and we would like to get into production as soon as possible, maybe this year,' said Pelone.