You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Films Distribution Takes ‘An Italian Name’

Berlin sales title remakes France’s 'What’s In A Name?'

French comedy has conquered continental Europe: Think “Welcome to the Sticks,” “The Intouchables,” “Serial (Bad) Weddings,” going forward, most likely “La Famille Belier.”

Now Italy is joining the charge. Having just announced its acquisition of world sales rights to Anne Fontaine’s WWII drama “Agnus Dei,” Paris-based sales company Films Distribution has added a second title to its building Berlinale slate: “Il Nome Del Figlio” (An Italian Name), from Francesca Archibugi, one of Italy’s best-known distaff directors with a now near 30-year-career (“Mignon Has Gone Away,” “Flying Lessons,” “A Question of the Heart”).

Films Distribution will start selling the movie at next week’s European Film Market (EFM).

Produced by Indiana Production and producer-distributor Lucky Red, a key company on Italy’s indie landscape, “Name” is an Italian makeover of French comedy breakout “What’s In a Name?” from Alexandre Patelliere and Mathieu Delaporte which grossed 3,34 million tjckets for Pathe Distribution in France, taking an around $25 million box office gross.

The Italian version stars Alessandro Gassman (“Quiet Chaos”) and Micaela Ramazzotti (“The First Beautiful Thing”) as his pregnant partner who invites around another couple, played by Valeria Golino (“Rain Man,” “Frida”) and Luigi Lo Cascio (“The Best of Youth”) plus an eccentric musician. Dinner conversation turns to the baby’s name that proves, unexpectedly, a highly explosive subject.

Opening for Andrea Occhipinti’s Lucky Red on 311 screens Jan.22, “An Italian Name” placed fifth in Italian box office rankings, grossing a respectable first weekend €1.1 million ($1.2 million), a running up the highest per-screen average – €3,592 ($4,023) – of the frame.

“With ‘An Italian Name,’ we are bringing back to the market

Italian comedy in its greatest tradition,” said Films Distribution co-founder Nicolas Brigaud-Robert. “The film is in the footsteps of De Sica’s or Dino Risi’s movies. It’s a true breath of fresh air. And we know our buyers are looking for lighter fare these days.”

Occhipinti and Indiana Production’s Fabrizio Donvito added: “Italian Cinema is finally taking back center stage worldwide, and we are very proud to share Film Distribution’s enthusiasm for the hilarious, sharp and sophisticated new Archibugi film, that deals with friendship, family, and conviviality, that is so Italian and universal at the same time.”

In international market terms, three years might seem a short time to follow up the original, sold abroad by Pathe. But 2010 comedy “Benvenuti al sud,” a remake of Dany Boon’s 2008 “Welcome to the Sticks,” not only put in a barnstorming performance in Italy, but sold abroad, grossing figures which would be very good by average art film standards, such as €1.45 million ($1.6 million) in Spain.

Nick Vivarelli contributed to this report

More Film

  • Nicole Kidman Meryl Streep

    Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman to Star in Ryan Murphy's 'The Prom' at Netflix

    Ryan Murphy enlisted a star-studded cast for his upcoming Netflix movie “The Prom,” an adaptation of the Tony-nominated Broadway musical. Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, Awkwafina, James Corden, Ariana Grande, Keegan-Michael Key and Andrew Rannells are among the A-listers bringing “The Prom” to screens. “The Prom” follows a lesbian student in the fictional conservative town of [...]

  • Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Vaclav

    Viktor Dvorak, Anna Geislerova Join Václav Havel Biopic

    Viktor Dvorak has been cast in “Havel,” a biopic of Václav Havel, as the Czech playwright, dissident and national leader. Anna Geislerova, who starred in Oscar nominated “Zelary,” plays his wife, Olga Havlova. Jiri Bartoska, the president of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, will appear in the film as “Professor,” inspired by Czech philosopher Jan Patocka. [...]

  • Daniel Craig

    'Bond 25' First Footage Sees Daniel Craig Back as 007

    After suffering a series of setbacks, including finding a new director and Daniel Craig’s on-set injury, “Bond 25” production is officially underway. A new behind-the-scenes clip of the upcoming James Bond film features Craig and helmer Cary Joji Fukunaga at work in the Caribbean. The minute-long footage didn’t reveal much about the still-untitled movie, though [...]

  • (L to R) Marco Graf as

    ‘Roma,’ ‘The Good Girls’ Top Mexico’s Ariel Academy Awards

    The Mexican Academy of Arts and Cinematographic Sciences hosted the 61st edition of their Ariel Awards on Monday evening, where Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” and Alejandra Márquez Abella’s “The Good Girls” stood out among the winners. Perhaps the most surprising thing about Cuarón’s “Roma” scooping best picture is that it’s only the second of his films to [...]

  • The Eight Hundred (The 800)

    Already Pulled From Shanghai Festival, 'The Eight Hundred' Cancels Its China Release

    Already pulled from its prestigious spot as the opener of the Shanghai International Film Festival, war epic “The Eight Hundred” has been dealt a further below with the cancellation of its scheduled release in China next week. In a terse announcement on its official Weibo account, the film said late Tuesday that, “after consultation between [...]

  • Méndez Esparza, Fernando Franco, Villaronga Projects

    Projects By Mendez Esparza, Fernando Franco and Villaronga at Small Is Biutiful

    Antonio Méndez Esparza’s “Que nadie duerma,” Fernando Franco’s “La consagración de la primavera” and Agustí Villaronga’s “3.000 obstáculos” figure among the seven projects to be pitched at Paris’ Small Is Biutiful forum. The closing event for the alternative Spanish film festival Dífferent 12!, Small Is Biutiful takes place June 26, bringing together French distributors and [...]

  • Judi Dench

    Judi Dench Says Works by Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey Should Be Respected

    Veteran British star Judi Dench has said that the work produced by Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey should be separated from the offenses they are alleged to have committed. Both Weinstein and Spacey face charges of sexual assault in the U.S., which they deny, and have been investigated in other jurisdictions as well, including Britain. [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content