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Italy, Cuba sign production pact

Paolo Virzi to shoot comedy on island

ROME — Italy and Cuba have signed a co-production agreement under which Silvio Berlusconi-owned Medusa is expected to shoot a comedy by Italo helmer Paolo Virzi on the Caribbean isle.

The Italo-Cuban co-production treaty was inked in Havana by Italian state film department chief Gaetano Blandini and Omar Gonzalez, topper of Cuban film institute Icaic.

Blandini has said he hopes the treaty will turn Italy into “a gateway into Europe” for Cuban cinema, adding that the closer rapport will make it easier for young Cuban filmmakers to liaise with Italian producers.

Meanwhile, Italy looks set to make the most of Cuba’s spectacular locations and low-cost prices.

The Italian delegation in Havana included Medusa prexy Carlo Rossella, who was quoted by Cuban press reports as saying Virzi will helm the first Italo-Cuban co-prod in the works. A Medusa spokesman in Rome declined immediate comment.

Virzi shortly before travelling to Cuba said he would like to shoot a Havana-set satire about Western sexual tourism on the Communist isle.

As part of the Italo-Cuban exchange Virzi is currently being celebrated in Cuba with a retro of his biting social laffers, including his latest, titled “Her Whole Life Ahead of Her,” a scathing sendup of telemarketing and corporate greed.

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