Italian b'caster scares up sales on Argento thriller

“Do You Like Hitchcock?” tops the list of titles that Italian broadcaster RAI has sold under its sales banner RAI Trade.

The suspense thriller was directed by horror cult maestro Dario Argento and was shot in English.

Pic has been picked up in a number of European territories, including France (StudioCanal), Germany (Beta), Holland (A-Film), Denmark (DRTV) and Sweden (Swerige TV). L.A.-based Marvista has picked up North American rights.

RAI Trade general manager Nicola Cona told Variety that most sales for RAI films are with Europe, including increasingly Eastern European buyers.

He added that Italy still suffers from “auteurism,” meaning too many movies are made without much regard for their commercial prospects.

“Still, we’re having a discreet success here with some of our titles,” he said.

Cona pointed to two other titles — the Pupi Avati film “When Do the Girls Show Up?” and Alessandro D’Alatri’s “The Fever.

Both have been picked up by Palace Film Australia, with which the Italo pubcaster has a longstanding relationship.

Competition entry from Marco Tullio Giordana, “Once You’re Born You Can No Longer Hide,” in which RAI is involved as a co-producer, is being handeld by France’s TF1.

Cona said that RAI Trade was “very close” to finalizing a co-production for a half-dozen thrillers with an unspecified American co-producer. (Hold-up is getting the RAI board to sign off on the deal.)

“They’ll be shot in English and I believe these sorts of arrangements are the wave of the future for us,” Cona said.

Sooner or later in fact RAI will likely be privatized and more commercial relations with English-language territories will become imperative.

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