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RAI Cinema bows online movie channel

Channel launches with 10 genre pics

ROME

Italo pubcaster RAI’s film production and distribution arm RAI Cinema is joining the digital age bowing a web-based movie channel Thursday with new local titles, fueling an innovative distribution pipeline.

It’s a prelude to a local Netflix-type platform in Italy, where Netflix is not yet present.

The RAI Cinema Channel kicked off with 10 digitally-shot genre pics by young local helmers. Each will be offered in free streaming video for a month and also via RAI’s YouTube channel. After their free run, they will be available for a fee on iTunes and other pay platforms. They will also air on RAI’s terrestrial RAI Movie channel.

The first pic on offer is “Fairytale,” a supernatural thriller shot by first-time helming duo Ascanio Malgarini and Christian Bisceglia.

The RAI Cinema Channel precedes the bow of Italo motion picture org Anica’s web platform, Anica on Demand, planned for this year. It will have 800 local titles and its ambition is to beat Netflix to the punch, as far as Italo pics are concerned.

Netflix announced in October it was hiring Italian translators, indicating plans to set up an Italo outpost, which has yet to happen.

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