Undeterred by the current tough economic conditions for Italian distributors, some of the newest kids on the Roman block have unveiled a series of hot international acquisitions.
Domenico Procacci's fledgling distributor Fandango has picked up Matt Dillon directorial debut, City of Ghosts. Co-written by Dillon and Wild At Heart novelist Barry Gifford, the picture stars Dillon as a con man on the run from the law who travels to Cambodia to collect his share in an insurance scam but gets more than he bargained for. The film, which also stars James Caan and Stellan Skarsgard, will screen in Sundance's American Showcase sidebar in January. Capitol Films is handling sales.
At the bi-annual Italian Screenings in Sorrento, Fandango announced it has also bought Italian rights from Sogepaq to Spanish director Julio Medem's erotic drama Sex And Lucia (Lucia Y El Sexo). The Rome-based company will also handle distribution in Italy to Simon Cellan Jones's The One and Only as well as Eros, a widely-anticipated three-part drama directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Pedro Almodovar and Wong Kar-Wai, which marks the 90-year-old Italian maestro's first film since 1995's Beyond the Clouds.
Meanwhile, Andrea De Liberato's 18-month-old distribution outfit Sharada will release Michael Winterbottom's Cannes title 24 Hour Party People, as well as Anne Fontaine's How I Killed My Father and Catherine Briellat's Sex is Comedy.
01 Distribution, the outfit formed last year by StudioCanal and Rai Cinema, will release Buongiorno Notte, a new film from Hour of Religion director Marco Bellocchio inspired by the 1968 kidnap and murder of Italian prime minister Aldo Moro. 01 has also picked up Italian rights to Coline Serreau's comedy 18 Ans Apres as well as Vincent Perez's Peau D'Ange, and Josh Hartnett drama Wicker Park, a Lakeshore production directed by Paul McGuigan.
Current market leader Medusa has picked up Italian rights to Dogville from Istituto Luce, which was initially set to release the film; the Fininvest company will also release James Foley's Confidence with Dustin Hoffman and Andy Garcia as well as Robert Altman's new film, The Company, featuring Neve Campbell and James Franco.
Nexo, which is bracing itself to release My Big Fat Greek Wedding in Rome on Friday, will also distribute Daniel Auteil's sombre drama The Adversary, which is sold by Wild Bunch; Jack Nicholson vehicle About Schmidt, and P.J. Hogan's comedy Unconditional Love with Rupert Everett and Kathy Bates.