ROME — Italo pubcaster RAI’s sales arm Rai Com is boasting brisk sales at the Mip TV mart on several timely titles on its slate including Marco Tullio Giordana’s Mafia witness drama “Lea – Something About Me,” Marco Pontecorvo’s immigrant crisis-themed mini-series “Lampedusa,” and high-profile docu “Pope Francis, Cuba and Fidel,” by veteran Italo journo Gianni Mina, who is known to have a longstanding rapport with Fidel Castro.
“Lea” by Giordana, who made an international splash with the “The Best of Youth” miniseries, was picked up for theatrical release by France’s Panam Distribution and by Palace in Australia. This skein with a strong anti-Mafia message about the wife of an organized crime boss who denounced her husband and his cohorts — and paid for this with her life — is a recent ratings winner on RAI’s flagship Rai 1 station. Like “Youth,” “Lea” is packaged for both TV and theatrical play.
Marco Pontecorvo’s two-part “Lampedusa” mini was picked up by Infinity TV in the U.K. and the Cyprus Broadcasting corporation, among other Southern European sales. It’s set on the same Sicilian island as Gianfranco Rosi’s Berlin-fest-winning docu “Fire at Sea,” which thousands of mostly African refugees have been risking their lives to reach. “Lampedusa” will soon air in Italy on Rai 1.
Franco-German broadcaster Arte picked up “Close Murders,” a Turin-set crime skein centered around a female homicide squad detective, played by Miriam Leone (“Medici: Masters of Florence”). She has a dark past that surfaces with each case. Talks on “Murders” are under way on multiple fronts, with a North American deal deemed possible.
Deals for North America, Spain, Latin America and Poland are in advanced stages on “Pope Francis, Cuba and Fidel,” which delves into the historic significance of Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba last year. Gianni Mina famously interviewed Fidel Castro for 16 hours in 1987 for a documentary that became a classic. Mina was honoured by the Berlin Film Festival in 1987 for his “Cuban Memories” series of six documentaries.
At Mip TV Rai Com also inked multi-territory deals on its its top selling “Detective Montalbano” skein and reupped with the BBC and MHZ in North America for Sicily-set show’s “The Young Montalbano” prequel spin-off.
All told Rai Com is boasting more than $1.8 million in sales finalized in Cannes.