ROME — Resurfacing professionally for the first time since her split from husband Vittorio Cecchi Gori, Italian film producer Rita Rusic has announced the formation of a company through which she aims to produce 20 features in the next four years.
The fledgling production stable, dubbed MovieWeb, is the result of a strategic agreement between the Rita Rusic Co. (RRC) and Convergenza, a European media investment fund of 200 million Euros ($192 million), which is run by former Fininvest managing director Aldo Livolsi.
MovieWeb will invest approximately 75 million Euros ($72 million) in the financing and co-production of 20 features to be produced by Rusic’s new company over the next four years. Either independently or through established partners, MovieWeb and RRC will handle theatrical distribution as well as all ancillary media, including homevideo, Internet, free TV and pay TV rights.
“I’m particularly pleased with this agreement, which provides me with the independence necessary to concentrate on the product and to employ my creative and productive capabilities,” commented Rusic.
Management appointments to MovieWeb are expected to be announced in the coming weeks. The company will have startup capital of 10 to $9.6 million, which initially will be controlled exclusively by Convergenza. However, new financial or strategic partners may be taken on board at a subsequent stage.
Rusic, a former actress, filed for separation from Cecchi Gori last year and was awarded a hefty settlement.
Nurtured homegrown talent
During her years with the Cecchi Gori Group, she teamed with her husband to produce a string of hits and was instrumental in the discovery and fostering of moneyspinning actor-directors such as Leonardo Pieraccioni, Antonio Albanese, Vincenzo Salemme and Giorgio Panariello. Rusic also was behind major hits from established directors, including Daniele Luchetti’s “School” and Paolo Virzi’s “Ovosodo.”
Details of Rusic’s debut slate at MovieWeb are expected to be announced in May.
Reportedly among the first titles is a film from Roberta Torre (“Tano da morire”), whose Sicily-set interracial romantic musical “Sud Side Story” is expected to premiere at either the Cannes or Venice fest.
Rusic also is readying an untitled semi-autobiographical comedy from popular TV personality Piero Chiambretti, who will star and possibly direct.