CANNES — The head of international sales at Italy’s prominent Rai Com company, Mattia Oddone, has stepped down to become managing director of Propaganda Italia, a new Italian production company which has a slate of film and TV projects for the international market in various stages.
These include an ambitious revenge crimer toplining Italian A-lister Toni Servillo (“The Great Beauty”).
Propaganda Italia was set up in 2014 as a separately operated spin off of the Italian subsidiary of global entertainment marketing firm Propaganda GEM by Italian media exec Marina Marzotto who has also served as CEO of Italian distributor Moviemax.
Besides his managerial role Oddone is boarding Propaganda Italia as an investor in the company.
They have plans for three feature films in the Euros 3-5 million range over the next three years and also a bigger Euros 15-20 million project for which they have acquired the script, which is still being kept under wraps, for which they envision a 2020 start-of-production date.
“I had a personal desire to go into business,” Oddone said, noting that his decision to move on comes on the heels of Italy’s new film and TV law which will pump Euros 400 million ($472 million) into the Italian market and open new opportunities.
“The sales market is increasingly moving closer to production,” he added. “So, after 14 years in international distribution, knowing that that product is key I’ve decided to go the same route as lots American and British colleagues who have made this transition.” Rai Com is the sales company of Italian pubcaster Rai.
Oddone, thanks to his know how, will handle business affairs while while Marzotto will focus more on product development. The company has a close rapport with Italian entrepreneur Pino Rabolini and serve as executive producers for his Amor Films shingle.
These are key film and TV projects in the Propaganda Italia pipeline:
— “5 Is the Perfect Number,” a Neapolitan mob saga based on a widely translated graphic novel by internationally known Italo graphic author known as Igort, who will also direct. This live action film with animation elements will feature visual effects by Laia Alomar the ace VFX producer known for her work on “The Martian” and “Avatar.” “Five” is being mounted with Italian producer Elda Ferri (“Life is Beautiful”) Italy’s Rai Cinema, and Potemkino of Belgium where the effects will be done. They are in advanced talks for actress Valeria Golino to come on board. Shooting is expected to start in Spring 2018.
—“Bad Bankers,” a high-end skein which delves into “how financiers have gained control over politics…and now run the world,” said Oddone. He added that “Even though it’s fictional, the show is rooted in the reality of the financial world.” Though it is being developed internally at this stage “Bad Bankers” is already envisioned with a three season arc. The first season will revolve around Monsignor Marcinkus, the American archbishop who presided over the Vatican Bank from 1971 to 1989 and was allegedly involved in laundering Mafia money. Italian actor-director Michele Placido who directed Netflix’s Italian original “Suburra” has agreed in principle to direct, though he remains to be contractualized. Oddone said the budget for “Bankers” will be “more than $1.5 million per episode.” The show is being shopped at Mipcom and will also be shopped at AFM.