Sony ups distribution in Italy

Company inks distribution deal with Mediafilm

ROME — Sony Pictures Italy has inked a 13-pic distribution deal with Milan-based Mediafilm.

Pact kicks off with Brit futuristic fantasy “Franklyn,” toplining Eva Green and Ryan Phillippe, set to bow April 17.

Sony Italy topper Paulo Simoes said he expects to acquire more pics from Mediafilm that Sony will release locally in 2010 and 2011.

Mediafilm, which has been active in Italy since 1999, is known mostly for horror titles such as Jaume Balaguero’s “Rec” and “The Eye,” but it has also handled more highbrow fare including Steven Soderbergh’s “Traffic” and George Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Mediafilm’s recent acquisitions include Russell Crowe thriller “Tenderness” and MGM end-of-the world comedy “2012-ish: The Day the Earth Bent Over.”

“There were some very interesting titles in their lineup that caught our eye,” said Simoes.

The topper added that the deal will allow Sony to optimize its distribution pipeline by releasing an average of 30 titles a year on Italian screens.

Largely due to a dearth of product, Sony was Italy’s eighth highest-earning distributor in 2008 with a somewhat scarce $37 million.

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