Moretti splits up with producer

Director, partner Barbagallo ran Sacher Film

ROME — Italo helmer Nanni Moretti has parted ways with his longtime producer Angelo Barbagallo, with Moretti likely to hold on to their Sacher Film shingle.

The two business partners have been making indie pics — most of which are Moretti movies — together since 1987, and also jointly operate the Nuovo Sacher arthouse in central Rome.

Barbagallo, who is prexy of Italy’s independent producers org. API, confirmed a “mutually agreed separation between Nanni and I; with no trauma or acrimony, but like old friends,” he told local Web site Cinecitta News.

Since recently becoming Turin Film Festival topper, Moretti has said he will not be directing films for a couple of years. Instead, in a rare thesping-only turn, he will soon star in drama “Calm Chaos,” to be helmed by Antonello Grimaldi, produced by Domenico Procacci’s Fandango. Moretti is expected to attend the Berlin fest to announce the Turin fest’s new guidelines.

Barbagallo, whose production credits include “Best of Youth,” is currently shepherding “Crazy Blood” a TV two-parter by “Youth” helmer Marco Tullio Giordana about Fascist-era movie star couple Osvaldo Valenti and Luisa Ferida, for pubcaster RAI.

Separation of the Sacher partners is seen in Italo industry circles as the end of an era in which the shingle stood for uncompromising indie filmmaking, free from the influence of Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset/Medusa, but also of RAI.

Their most recent pic, Moretti’s self-financed anti-Berlusconi drama/comedy “The Caiman,” was a big Italo box office draw.

The company, named after Moretti’s favorite cake, the Sacher Torte, is expected to remain in the helmer’s hands.

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