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Fininvest Subsid Medusa Opens L.A. Office

Medusa, the recently reactivated film subsidiary of Silvio Berlusconi’s Fininvest media empire, has just opened a Los Angeles office and unveiled its strategy for the 1995-96 theatrical season.

The office will be headed by Francesco Nespega, a financial exec of Fininvest, and Ibrahim Moussa, a longtime consultant to Fininvest in the U.S.

Nespega, who has been based in L.A. for four years, told Variety he would serve as the link between Medusa and U.S. and foreign indie producers and distributors. Moussa will oversee theatrical acquisitions.

Medusa will focus its distribution efforts on a group of 25-30 feature films for the upcoming season, with plans to expand to 35-40 films in coming years.

“Medusa will concentrate on fewer films in order to give each the support it merits in order to become an Italian box office hit,” Carlo Bernasconi, CEO of Medusa and a top exec at the parent company in Milan, said in a statement.

Among the upcoming releases Medusa is handling in Italy are Sony’s cyperpunk actioner “Johnny Mnemonic,” the thriller “Never Talk to Strangers,” Merchant Ivory’s “Jefferson in Paris,” New Line’s “Angus,” the British thriller “Shallow Grave” and the French comedy “Un Indien dans la ville.”

Medusa currently is discussing possible co-financing arrangements for the first U.S. project by Italo director Alessandro D’Alatri, who recently helmed low-budgeter “Senza Pelle”(No Skin).

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