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Italy: Auds prefer indies to arthouse

AFM Territory Report

With homevid dying and TV sales still scarce, Italy continues to be a market where theatrical is absolutely crucial.

That means that independent films that can speak to broader audiences are in demand while classic arthouse titles are an increasingly hard sell.

Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon” and Jacques Audiard’s “A Prophet” both underperformed in Italy, while Radhu Mihaileanu’s crowdpleasing “The Concert” did boffo biz.

The high cost of P&A in Italy also contributes to arthouse woes.

“Italy has become a territory where you can wait for movies to be made, rather than make a pre-buy,” says Lucky Red buyer Stefano Massenzi.

At AFM, Massenzi will be seeking movies with “a hook, a name director, a recognizable cast, an idea” — all in “movies with moderate budgets.”

Highlights

Top 2010 indie film: “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” $20 million (Eagle Pictures)

Recent pickups: “Let Me In,” Filmauro; “Machete,” Lucky Red; “On the Road,” Medusa; “13 Assassins,” BIM Distribuzione

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