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ROME – RAI Com has sold U.S. rights to bittersweet Mafia-themed comedy “The Mafia Kills Only in Summer” by Sicilian TV satirist-turned-helmer Piefrancesco Diliberto, known as PIF, to New York-based Distrib Films, which will also release Italo political drama “Viva la libertà,” toplining Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”), also acquired from RAI Com.

Produced by Mario Gianani and Lorenzo Mieli’s Wildside in association with Rai Cinema, “The Mafia Kills Only in Summer” (pictured) provides a unique perspective on the pernicious impact of the mob on contempo life in Sicily through the eyes first of a child and then of a young man. It has been a sleeper hit in Italy, winner of this years’s David di Donatello, the country’s top film nod, for best debut director.

“Viva la libertà,” which is directed by Roberto Andò, is a political dramedy in which the
leader of Italy’s opposition party drops out of sight and is replaced by his bipolar identical twin, fresh from the madhouse, played by Servillo.

“We are very happy to see the increasing commercial interest in Italian films internationally,” said Mattia Odone, head of RAI COM’s international film and TV sales, in a statement. In Distrib Films and Francois Scippa-Kohn, we have found a partner with a great track record of positioning European quality films in the challenging US market.” The recently renamed and reconfigured RAI Com was formerly known as RAI Trade.

Other titles on Paris and New York-based specialty boutique Distrib Films’ slate include Philippe Garrel’s “Jealousy” and Pascal Plisson’s “On The Way To School.”