Italo shingle aiming for influx of pix, taps Tinari

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ROME — Italy’s Lux Vide, the prolific telepic producer of “Mother Teresa” and “The Bible” series, is beefing up operations and venturing into film distribution.

It’s hired vet exec Claudio Tinari, formerly head of international acquisitions and sales at Cecchi Gori Group.

Tinari, who has been active on the international market for nearly two decades, has joined Lux as a senior acquisitions rep, in charge of handling the company’s first film purchases and bolstering its sales and international co-production side.

“As a buyer for Lux, I will be making my first outing at the Cannes film fest, where we will be looking for both Hollywood and European mid-budget mainstream product,” Tinari said.

Founded in 1992 by former RAI topper Ettore Bernabei, with a mission to make wholesome, often religious, family telepics, Lux has grown steadily in scope, working with both RAI and Mediaset in Italy and with Jan Mojto’s EOS Entertainment in Germany.

Franco-Tunisian entertainment entrepreneur Tarak Ben Ammar became a Lux partner in 2003.

The company is headed by Matilde Bernabei, with former RAI Trade exec Vincenzo Mosca in charge of its sales unit. Mosca and Tinari will be working in close contact.

With Tinari aboard, Lux will gain more expertise in structuring international co-productions, which should make the company less reliant on financing from local broadcasters and therefore allow it to hold on to a larger portion of product rights.

Lux’s projects include the telepic “Mussolini’s Daughter,” soon to air on RAI, and biopic “John Paul II,” also for RAI. Latter is being set up as a big-budget international co-production with Tinari’s help.

Tinari said that, while TV remains Lux’s core business, the Rome-based outfit is now looking to sell movies to theatrical distributors and broadcasters and to start producing domestic films geared toward a youth audience.

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