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Fine Line buys Italo film at script stage

Pic is latest from helmer Archibugi

ROME — In a rare case of a U.S. distributor acquiring an Italian-language production at script stage, Fine Line Features is negotiating to pick up North American rights to “Domani” (Tomorrow), the forthcoming film from Italian director Francesca Archibugi.

Produced by Guido De Laurentiis and Archibugi under their recently established Cinemello banner and scripted by Archibugi, the $4.5 million drama tells a fictional story of relationships formed between three family groups during the period surrounding the 1997 earthquake that devastated the Umbria region.

Shooting gets under way Nov. 29 for 10 weeks in Umbria with a cast that includes Ornella Muti, Valerio Mastandrea, Marco Baliani, Patrizia Piccinini, Ilaria Occhini and British thesp James Purefoy (“Bedrooms and Hallways”). The film is scheduled to be completed by late spring.

Fine Line senior VP, European production and acquisitions, Eileen Maisel brought the script to the attention of company president Mark Ordesky, who began negotiations last month in Rome.

“To be a truly global company, it is important to maintain one’s independence both in English as well as in the foreign-language realm,” Ordesky told Daily Variety. “We felt that Francesca Archibugi has the talent, creativity and drive to make a film that speaks to audiences all over the world.”

Archibugi’s previous features include “Towards Evening,” “The Great Pumpkin,” “With Closed Eyes” and “Shooting the Moon.” Her 1988 debut, “Mignon Has Gone Away,” won six David di Donatello Awards including best first feature.

The last Italian production acquired by Fine Line was Giuseppe Tornatore’s English-language period drama “The Legend of the Pianist on the Ocean,” which the company recently released in the U.S. as “The Legend of 1900.”