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New Sardinia Fest Builds on Italo High-End TV Boom

In May, George Clooney arrived in Sardinia to shoot Hulu’s hot “Catch- 22” TV series, the latest production to land on the Italian island where Italy’s industry will convene June 15-18 to celebrate and bolster the crossover between high-end film and TV content.

Former Taormina Film Festival general manager Tiziana Rocca is launching the new Filming Italy Sardegna Festival in the capital city of Cagliari and a nearby resort as an offshoot of her annual Filming in Italy/Los Angeles event that promotes Italian cinema, locations and talent.

“Next year, besides movies, we will be bringing Italian TV series to L.A.,” she says.

“There are plenty of events dedicated to film, and some dedicated to TV,” Rocca points out. “But I’m not aware of any that cover the crossover between these two.”

Giancarlo Leone, former top exec at Italian pubcaster RAI who now heads Italy’s TV producers’ association APT, is backing the new event. “In Italy, there still is what you might call a conventional view, which we need to put behind us, that sees film as something separate within the audiovisual industry,” he says. But film and TV “are becoming a single industry” in the country.

The fest will feature local launches of movies and a smattering of TV series, along with artistic director Claudio Masenza’s onstage conversations with talent. Among those: “Penny Dreadful” star Josh Hartnett; Scottish actress-turned-director Karen Gillan (“Avengers: Infinity War,” “Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle”), whose feature film directorial debut, “The Party’s Just Beginning,” recently launched at Tribeca; and Italian film and stage director Cristina Comencini.

Local launches of U.S. films will include Jason Reitman’s Charlize Theron-starrer “Tully” and David Gordon Green’s Boston Marathon bombing drama “Stronger.” An episode of HBO’s current “Westworld” season, which in Italy airs on Sky Atlantic, will also screen.

A panel with heavyweight execs from broadcasters RAI, Sky Italia and Mediaset, plus prominent production companies Lux Vide, Palomar, Leone Film Group and Picomedia, plus leading local theatrical distributors 01 Distribution, an RAI offshoot, and Vision Distribution, which has been set up by Sky, will thrash out issues inherent to Italy’s changing media landscape and the potential impact on the industry of the country’s newly installed populist government.

What: Filming Italy Sardegna Festival
When: June 15-18
Where: Cagliari, Sardinia

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