German rights broker Intertainment has sold eight films to Italy and unveiled the beginnings of a long-term relationship with Silvio Berlusconi's film and TV group Mediaset.
Mediaset is paying $20m for free-TV rights to six high-profile films - Battlefield Earth, Art Of War, Get Carter, The Pledge, The Whole Shebang and Angel Eyes. Intertainment struck a separate deal for free-TV rights to two other titles - Three Thousand Miles To Graceland and Un Certain Regard-tipped Things You Can Tell Just By Looking At Her, but declined to reveal the buyer.
"The strategic Mediaset partnership has opened the door for future free-TV contracts covering additional Intertainment films," said Intertainment chairman Rudi Baeres.
Intertainment retained theatrical, video and pay-TV rights to the slate - made up of titles it acquired European rights to from Franchise Pictures and Original Voices - and has separate deals for these with Warner Bros and 20th Century Fox.
The deal comes hot on the heels of a $22.4m free-TV package sold to Spanish distributor Manga Films during last month's American Film Market.
Although during the AFM, Intertainment appeared to be off-loading some of the rights it had acquired under its three-year, 60-film output deal with Franchise, Baeres said: "This transaction proves that the strategy of marketing our licence rights on a European level is indeed the right one." He added that the total revenues flowing from Italy will be greater than $20m as the theatrical, video and pay-TV rights "offer significantly larger earning potential than the general free-TV marketing rights."