ROME – Maze Pictures, the new independent film label set up by prominent German producers Philipp Kreuzer and Jörg Schulze, has joined forces with Italy’s Indigo Film (“The Great Beauty”) to co-produce high-concept Italo skein “Due di Noi” (Two of Us) written and directed by Ivan Cotroneo.
“Two” is an ensemble 25-minute, twelve episode series in which each character is played by two actors with distinctly different physical traits who represent different masks people wear on the workplace, at home, and in social situations.
Cotroneo is known internationally for Italo pubcaster RAI’s hit show “Crazy For Love,” featuring Bollywood style musical numbers, sold widely including to Huace Media International for China, and also for groundbreaking Italian cross-platform sitcom “An Imperfect Mom,” optioned by ABC for the U.S.
Maze launched earlier this month announcing it had partnered with Luc Besson’s EuropaCorp Television on thriller TV series “The Crimson Rivers.”
Maze boarded Cotroneo’s “Two” after seeing a pilot, produced by Indigo, at the Rome Film Festival’s MIA market in October.
“It’s a very good idea, very universal, that can work outside Italy not just as a format, but as a ready-made series,” Kreuzer enthused.
Kreuzer has a longstanding rapport with Cotroneo and Indigo established during his previous position as a top exec at Bavaria Film International, when he picked up world sales on “Crazy For Love” and also on “Imperfect Mom.” He is currently developing a German-language pilot of “Imperfect Mom” at Maze.
“Two” does not yet have an Italian broadcaster on board. The lavishly-produced pilot which screened at MIA stars A-list Italo TV actors Carolina Crescentini, Giulia Michelini, Alessandro Roja and Stefano Fresi. The format can be tweaked depending on the outlet, said Indigo partner Francesca Cima.
“I am quite obsessed with the following question: ‘how much are we ourselves when we are with other people?’,” said Cotroneo, who underlined that he conceived the “Two” device “to describe a contemporary unease.”
Cima pointed out that the relatively low-budget show marks a new international business model for Italy.
“We want to start production with international partners from the start, as a co-production, and we are succeeding,” she said. “The novelty is that our partner doesn’t want to buy the format or rights to the finished product, but is boarding production of the Italian series,” Cima added.