Duo launch documentary unit

In a rare case of inhouse interaction at Italy’s RAI, the pubcaster’s Rai Cinema division and its TG1 TV news side are jointly launching a documentary unit, called Il Documentario, with international ambitions.

Rai Cinema, which is Italy’s top producer of quality local film fare, has teamed with the country’s top-rated news show on a series of docus by name helmers to be televised as specials, “ensuring that millions of people will see them,” said Rai Cinema prexy Franco Scaglia.

“In the past, the problem we’ve had with documentaries is that we produced them without knowing how they were going to be distributed,” Scaglia added.

“The idea is also that Italy can now try to increase foreign distribution of its documentaries, which has plunged to an all-time low,” said TG1 foreign news editor Monica Maggioni.

The only Italo docu to make an international splash recently is Sabina Guzzanti’s “Draquila — Italy Trembles,” about relief efforts after the 2009 earthquake, which world preemed in Cannes.

Il Documentario’s lineup includes Giuliano Montaldo’s “L’oro di Cuba,” a look at Cuba 50 years after its revolution; Edoardo Winspeare’s “A School With a View,” about a multiethnic nursery school in Rome; and Roberto Olla’s “Petrolio,” which delves into the mysterious 1975 death of helmer and poet Pier Paolo Pasolini.

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