Cinecitta Luce leads project to prepare pix for re-release

ROME — Ten works by Italian auteur Roberto Rossellini, including his neo-realist classic “Rome Open City,” will be digitally restored for DVD distribution and special festival presentations.

Called the Rossellini Project, the initiative stems from a pact forged by Italo state film entity Cinecitta Luce, Italy’s CSC Cineteca Nazionale, the Bologna Cinematheque and Gallic distrib Coproduction Office.

First restored work is “La macchina ammazzacattivi” (The Machine That Kills Bad People), a rarely seen 1952 comedy, which unspooled in the Cannes Classics sidebar, based on a story by Neapolitan playwright Eduardo De Filippo.

Other pics due for restoration are Rossellini’s documentary “India,” which will be unveiled in Venice, and “Germany Year Zero.”

“We are proud, after a 16-year hiatus, to be able to show the preserved masterpieces of Roberto Rossellini in Italy and around the world,” said Cinecitta Luce topper Luciano Sovena.

Bologna Cinematheque topper Gian Luca Farinelli praised Cinecitta Luce for sorting out complicated rights issues that until now had prevented Rossellini’s works from being restored and re-released.

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