Rome-based sales outfit FilmExport is in the final stages of talks with US and European co-production partners to board a $30m film about legendary gigolo Rudolf Valentino.

The English-language film, entitled Baciami Rudy (Kiss Me Rudy) will chronicle Valentino's life from the age of 18 until he becomes a star in the US. Norman Jewison (Moonstruck) is in talks to direct the film, which is planned as an Italian, Spanish, German, French, US and Canadian co-production.

FilmExport head Roberto Di Girolamo plans to start scouting locations by the end of the year and shoot in 2003. Di Girolamo is also in talks with Argentinian producers to board Pomodoro E Basilico, a film to be directed by Alfonso Arau in 2002.

Other projects on FilmExport's production slate include Heaven Above Us, a film set in WW2 which Italian director Damiano Damiani is currently casting, and Ricordando I Sogni, an Italian-Argentinian co-production about a small boy who emigrates to Argentina in 1945.