×

Blossoming Cattleya cops coin

Featured Player

MILAN — Rome-based production outfit Cattleya has climbed into position among Italy’s leaders.

With the ink drying on output deals at Medusa and RAI, the company also got a shot in the arm from publisher De Agostini and private equity fund SanPaolo IMI — both of which recently took 10% stakes in Cattleya.

The influx of coin will help Cattleya roughly double its slate from five films in 2000, when it first got into the production biz.

“We want to make about eight to 10 features per year, including two or three English-language films, with costs ranging from $2 million up to $20 million,” Cattleya CEO Giovanni Stabilini tells Variety.

The company’s pipeline of English-lingo pics includes Liliana Cavani’s “Ripley’s Game,” produced with Britain’s Baby Prods. for Fine Line and starring John Malkovich, which is in post-production; and Franco Zeffirelli’s “Callas Forever,” a drama produced for Medusa and toplining Fanny Ardant and Jeremy Irons. Pic began shooting July 23.

Venice-bound

Other films in post-production include “How Harry Became a Tree,” a surreal, sexy comedy by Serbian director Goran Paskaljevic with Adrian Dunbar and Colm Meaney, which will go to Venice Film Fest; and Mike Figgis’ “Hotel,” with an international cast including Julian Sands, Burt Reynolds and Valeria Golino.

Cattleya’s pacts with Medusa and RAI are for three years each, both for nine films, an unusual setup — most agreements with producers are for two or three films.

Division of labor

Cattleya was created in 1997 by Riccardo Tozzi, Mediaset’s former head of drama. Two years later, Giovanni Stabilini, Mediaset managing director in charge of acquisitions, and Marco Chimenz, the L.A. man for Medusa — the film unit of Mediaset parent company Fininvest — came on board.

Tozzi now serves as Cattleya president and manages the creative side, with CEO Stabilini responsible for business and finance and Chimenz handling international co-productions, acquisitions and sales.

The three men are equal partners in the company.

According to Stabilini, Cattleya’s revenues have risen from $3 million in 2000, when the company started producing, to $17 million this year. He expects them to reach $40 million in 2002.

Helping fill the coffers in the next few months, Cattleya will start producing two miniseries, one to be aired by Mediaset, the other by RAI.

Italo-lingo pics in post-production include “Mari del Sud,” an Italian comedy with Diego Abantuono and Victoria Abril distributed by Medusa; and Michele Placido’s “La piu lunga estate,” with Laura Morante and Stefano Accorsi, a co-production with RAI.

More Film

  • Tarantino Movies Ranked Illustration

    All of Quentin Tarantino's Movies Ranked

    In the history of cinema, has any director done more to elevate the idea of movies as cool than Quentin Tarantino? Certainly, the idea that films could be made by fans dates back at least to the French New Wave, when a group of die-hard critics stepped behind the camera. A few years later, Spielberg, [...]

  • A Stranger on the Beach

    Anonymous Content Wins Film Rights to Michele Campbell's 'A Stranger on the Beach' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Anonymous Content has won the adaptive rights to the forthcoming Michele Campbell novel “A Stranger on the Beach.” In a competitive situation, Anonymous outbid multiple players for the thriller, which it will adapt for the big screen with in-house producers Alex Goldstone and Rosalie Swedlin. “Stranger” has been likened to sensual thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” [...]

  • Ridley Scott Matt Damon Ben Affleck

    Ridley Scott, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck and Nicole Holofcener Team on 'The Last Duel'

    Ridley Scott looks to have his next directing job, as he has signed on to direct “The Last Duel” with Matt Damon and Ben Affleck attached to star. Damon and Affleck co-wrote the script with Oscar-nominated Nicole Holofcener. Scott, Damon and Affleck all producing along with Scott’s producing partner Kevin Walsh. Drew Vinton is also [...]

  • Jonathan Taylor Thomas Ed Asner Elliott

    Jonathan Taylor Thomas, Ed Asner, Elliott Gould Seek SAG-AFTRA Board Seats

    Ed Asner, Elliott Gould and Jonathan Taylor Thomas are seeking SAG-AFTRA national board seats as members of presidential candidate Matthew Modine’s progressive Membership First slate. Asner is the former president of the Screen Actors Guild, serving two terms from 1981 to 1985, and winning five Emmys for his role as Lou Grant and two others [...]

  • Natalie Portman Thor Comic Con

    Comic-Con: Marvel 'Shock and Awe' Strategy Dominates Twitter Buzz

    Disney’s Marvel Studios handily won the hype trophy from this year’s Comic-Con International San Diego. Marvel Studios — which returned to the 2019 Comic-Con stage with a chock-full Phase 4 slate of announcements — dominated the discussion on Twitter out of the convention, capturing the biggest volume of buzz for nine of the top 10 [...]

  • Chris Rock - Netflix

    Chris Rock's 'Saw' Reboot Moves Up Five Months to May 2020

    Lionsgate has moved Chris Rock’s upcoming “Saw” reboot forward by five months to May 15, 2020, vacating the pre-Halloween date of Oct. 23, 2020. The studio indicated Monday that it decided to move the untitled “Saw” movie into the summer slot after seeing early footage from the set of the film currently shooting in Toronto. The move [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content