Beta picks up ‘Il Divo’

Film is directed by Paolo Sorrentino

BERLIN — Beta Cinema has picked up international rights to “Il Divo,” Paolo Sorrentino’s portrait of controversial Italian politician Giulio Andreotti, the country’s seven-time former prime minister who was tried for Mafia ties and subsequently acquitted.

One of the most awaited Italian films of 2008, pic wrapped principal photography in August after shooting was carried out in total secrecy amidst huge media pressure.

Besides his Mafia trial, Andreotti has also been tried for the murder of an Italian journalist in a separate case, in which he was also acquitted. Despite the not guilty verdicts, the trials tarnished the image of the devout Catholic pol, who has close ties to the Vatican.

Andreotti, 88, has been Italy’s most powerful postwar pol and remains a senator for life.

Currently in post, pic was produced by Indigo Film, Lucky Red and Parco Film, in cooperation with Sky Italia and the Film Commission Torino Piemonte, co-produced by Babe Film and France’s StudioCanal and supported by domestic and European film subsidies.

One of Italy’s hottest young directors, Sorrentino was in Cannes last year with his loanshark drama “The Family Friend.”

Toni Servillo, who starred in Sorrentino’s other Cannes screener, “The Consequences of Love,” plays Andreotti in “Il Divo.”

Beta Cinema is the theatrical arm of Munich-based international sales company Beta Film and has handled recent German hits such as “The Life of Others” and “The Downfall.”

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