Italo shingle funds int'l prod'ns

Rome’s Buskin Film has pacted with Luxembourg-based equity fund MG Ventures to invest $20 million in a slate that includes pics by Roland Joffe, Bille August and horror helmer Ted Nicolaou.

One of a handful of Italian outfits active in international co-productions, Buskin wants to provide up to 25% of the budget of English-language pics as long as some of the shoot takes place in Italy or involves Italian cast or crew.

“For the first time an Italian production company with a substantial investment potential is willing to put up more than 10% of an international production’s budget,” boasted Buskin topper Antonio Guadalupi.

Projects that Buskin and the MG fund have already boarded include helmer Joffe’s remake of spy romance classic “Mata Hari,” produced by U.K.-based Andre Djaoui’s Creative Partners Intl., which starts filming in fall.

Buskin is also co-producing August-helmed romancer “Cheri,” based on the novel about a young gigolo and an older woman by French author Colette.

U.S. producer Dante Di Loreto is shepherding “Cheri.”

The fund, which is co-managed by Buskin and MG Ventures’ Turin-based MG Lab subsidiary, also wants to tap into Italy’s regional incentives, especially coin from Turin’s surrounding Piedmont region in the foothills of the Alps.

In July, shooting will start in Turin on “The Etruscan Mask” by Nicolaou, which Oz’s Beyond Intl. is preselling in Cannes.

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