CANNES: Cristina Comencini's 'Latin Lover' Gains
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Italo-French actress Valeria Bruni Tedeschi (“Saint Laurent”), Spanish stars Candela Pena (“All About My Mother”), Lluis Homar (“Bad Education”), Marisa Paredes and Australian-born rock singer Nadeah Miranda have joined the cast of Italo helmer Cristina Comencini’s “Latin Lover,” which Italy’s Rai Trade is pre-selling internationally at Cannes.

Rai Trade is also selling Critics’ Week entry drag queen drama “Darker Than Midnight” by Italy’s Sebastiano Riso.

Comencini, whose “Don’t Tell” was nommed for a foreign-language Oscar in 2005, started shooting “Lover” last week in Italy’s Apulia region. Pic is an Almodovarian comedy that turns on a group of women who convene from different parts of the world for the commemoration of a famous dead actor, known for being an epitomal Italian stud, played by Sicilian thesp Francesco Scianna (“Baaria”).

“Latin Lover” is produced by Lionello Cerri with financing from Rai Cinema, the film arm of pubcaster RAI, which will distribute the film in Italy.

RAI is combining its current Rai Trade sales division with its Rai Net online unit in a new company that will also absorb digital sell-through of its RAI Cinema movie properties.

Meanwhile, it is also venturing into international co-productions starting with the animation field, where it is in advanced talks with international partners for kiddie series “Pio the Chicken,” based on an Italian song with animal sounds and related YouTube video that went vastly viral.

Another significant novelty is that Rai Trade is now seeking to pick up world sales on non-Italian movies.

“We want to increase our role as a sales company of Italian movies but also beef up our slate by taking up world sales on international product,” said Rai Trade sales exec Mattia Oddone.

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