ROME — Gianandrea Mutti, a BIM Distribuzione marketing and acquisitions exec known on the international festival circuit for being as passionate about movies as he was piercingly ironic about life, died on Friday, Aug. 1, due to injuries from a motorcycle accident. He was 41.
Mutti’s death has stunned the film community in Italy where he was widely admired, both for his professional ability and his personal charm.
Known from Sundance to Cannes affectionately as “Giana,” Mutti had joined BIM, Italy’s prominent Rome-based arthouse distribbery, in 1998, in a congenial career change after he had passed the bar exam to become a lawyer in his native Bologna.
Before joining BIM, he cut his teeth briefly working with a smaller Rome arthouse shingle, Manfredi and Vania Traxler’s Academy.
Over the following decade Mutti became known in Italo industry circles, and elsewhere, for having honed a keen sense of the Italo audience’s pulse and an eye for detail in creating posters, trailers, TV spots, and other tools driving campaigns for BIM’s releases, along with his superhuman energy, wit, and generosity of spirit.
Among the many titles Mutti managed to propagate effectively on Italian screens is Sean Penn’s “Into The Wild” which, handled by Mutti, made $8 million in Italy, a huge haul compared with the $17 million this drama close to Mutti’s heart, grossed Stateside.
Mutti was a big fan of American cinema, especially comedies. He is remembered at BIM, which is headed by Valerio de Paolis and a sister company of Gaul’s Wild Bunch, for being able to rattle off the name of almost any film’s helmer, cast, and nods infallibly, and also for his “cheer, enormous vitality, and his always unkept hair,” the company said in a statement.
Mutti is survived by his mother Maurizia Bongini.