Rome’s Mia Market Attracts Strong Industry Presence and James D’Arcy Directorial Debut

ROME — More than 400 international buyers, sales agents and producers are expected to attend the second edition of Rome’s new-concept Mia market dedicated to feature films, TV series, documentaries and video games. English-language movie projects seeking co-production coin at the market, which is held in tandem with the Rome Film Festival, include the Tuscany-set directorial debut of British actor James D’Arcy (“Agent Carter,” “Dunkirk”).

D’Arcy (pictured) has teamed up with prominent London-based producer Pippa Cross (“A Hundred Streets”) on “The Long Way Round,” about an estranged father and son who travel to their family home in Tuscany, which they are thinking of selling. “Once there, they discover the beauty of the place, their love for the people who inhabit it, and renewed feelings of mutual affection,” the project’s synopsis says.

Another British project in development that will be pitched at the Mia Cinema Co-Production market is Sally Potter’s New York-set “Molly,” a dual portrait of a father and daughter described as “a sort of physical and emotional odyssey that takes place within the limited time frame of 24 hours.” Potter is making the film with her regular producer Christopher Sheppard. The pair came to Rome last year to pitch Potter’s “The Party” which stars Emily Mortimer, Cillian Murphy, and Kristin Scott Thomas, and is now in post-production. Their return this year is a sign that Mia worked well for them, and also that Brits are still keen to make movies with European partners despite Britain’s vote earlier this year to leave the European Union.

“We are encouraged by the number of international executives we’ve been able to attract, which consolidates last’s year’s result,” said Mia market director Lucia Milazzotto. “More importantly, the caliber of those coming is higher this year,” she noted. Companies confirmed for Mia’s film side include Arté, Gaumont, Pathé International from France; Germany’s Beta; leading U.K. media investor Ingenious; Brazil’s Globo TV, Latin America’s biggest TV network; and Magnolia Pictures and Strand Releasing from the U.S.

Looking to capitalize on the buzz generated internationally by Italian TV series “Gomorrah” and Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Young Pope,” Mia is beefing up its TV side this year with a TV Drama Pitching Forum dedicated to Italian series with international potential. Prominent TV execs who are expected to segue from Mipcom in Cannes to Mia in Rome include Netflix senior manager of content acquisitions Felipe Tewes, Sony Pictures Entertainment senior VP of international TV production Diego Suarez, The Weinstein Company executive VP for scripted television Megan Spanjian, and William Morris Endeavor head of international packaging Lorenzo De Maio.

A new What’s Next Italy section will present 15 fresh Italian movies in various stages of production to prospective international buyers and investors.

Panels and conferences on a range of hot industry topics, including new business models in China, remakes, and distribution challenges in Europe, will be held in the Eternal City’s ancient Diocletian thermal baths, among marble statues, columns, and artifacts.

The country of honor this year is Mexico.

Mia – an acronym for Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, which means International Audiovisual Market in Italian – will run Oct. 20-24.

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