×

Italian Movie Channel to Launch in U.S. via Amazon (EXCLUSIVE)

Italy’s Minerva Pictures is launching an SVOD channel dedicated to Italian cinema for the North American market using the Amazon Prime Video Direct program, in a move that breaks new ground and could provide an additional revenue stream for the Italian film industry.

After successfully launching a U.S. outpost called RaroVideo, Minerva Pictures is set to launch the streaming service, MovieItaly, in October in the U.S. and Canada. The Rome-based company boasts a vast vintage Italian cinema library with works ranging from Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Conformist” to horror master Mario Bava’s movies,

MovieItaly will use Amazon’s self-publishing service, which enables rights-holders to reach an audience by creating a channel on the Amazon Prime Video platform on a revenue-sharing basis.

Prime Video Direct has been used to launch niche movie channels by U.S. indies such as Samuel Goldwyn Films and by South Korea’s leading studio, CJ Entertainment. Minerva chief Gianluca Curti said his company will be the “first Europeans to launch an SVOD channel dedicated to a national cinematography in the North American market,” on Amazon’s platform or anywhere.

Minerva Pictures will actually be the first continental Europeans to do so, since Prime Video customers in the U.S. can already stream English-language content from BritBox which was created by the BBC and Itv and features British content.

Popular on Variety

MovieItaly will kick off in October with 100 mostly vintage titles mostly drawn from RaroVideo’s vault of classic, cult and horror films, spaghetti Westerns and experimental Italian movies. The service will add at least 10 new titles each month and will also feature extras and an Italian talent introducing a movie-of-the-month.

After launching the service in North America, Minerva hopes to expand to the U.K. by year’s end. “We will be catering to Italian cinema cinephiles who love art movies but also to second- and third-generation Italians [in the U.S.] who have a craving for genre, comedies and more lowbrow popular cinema,” Curti said.

He added that Minerva is in the process of closing non-exclusive SVOD deals with Italian cinema rights-holders in Italy and the U.S. to bring in more recent Italian feature films and documentaries.

To promote MovieItaly in the U.S., Minerva is planning to organize presentations and monthly screenings of Italian movies in a still-unspecified New York venue.

More Film

  • Dev Patel Toronto International Film Festival

    Film News Roundup: Dev Patel to Star in 'Flash Crash' Financial Thriller

    In today’s film news roundup, Dev Patel will portray a market whiz in a “Flash Crash” movie, the late Marty Sklar is honored at UCLA, “The Conversation” is getting a re-release and Ellen Page’s documentary gets a trailer. PROJECT LAUNCH Dev Patel will star in the adaptation of “Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global [...]

  • Police guard the scenery in front

    Mass Shooting in Germany Raises Security Concerns for Berlin Film Festival

    A mass shooting in the West German city of Hanau has raised security concerns for the Berlin Film Festival, which kicks off on Thursday. Local media reports late Wednesday indicate that several people are dead following a shooting. Eight people are believed to have been killed while five others are injured. An unknown assailant is [...]

  • Foto: ©2019 TOM TRAMBOWProjekt: „Lassie Come

    Global Screen Sells 'Lassie Come Home' to More Than 44 Countries (EXCLUSIVE)

    Munich-based world sales company Global Screen has pre-sold the new adaptation of Eric Knight novel’s “Lassie Come Home,” whose canine character was first brought to the big screen more than 75 years ago, to more than 44 countries. Territories include Italy (Lucky Red), France (Mediawan Rights), Scandinavia (Angel Scandinavia), Israel (Film House), CIS (Volga Film), [...]

  • Paramount Players

    Paramount Players Loses Executives Matt Dines, Ali Bell

    Paramount Players has lost two of its executives, with Matt Dines and Ali Bell leaving their posts as executive vice presidents of development and production. A spokesman for Paramount told Variety that there are no plans to shutter the three-year-old division in the wake of the departures. Wyck Godfrey, Paramount’s motion pictures group president, remains [...]

  • Anya Taylor Joy Emma Premiere

    Anya Taylor-Joy on Playing Jane Austen's Clever, Callous Protagonist in 'Emma'

    It was an evening of elegance at the Los Angeles premiere of Focus Features’ “Emma” on Tuesday night. The red carpet was lined with pastel floral arrangements at the DGA Theater, priming visitors to be transported to the ornate pageantry of Georgian-era England, as depicted in this new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic tale. Anya [...]

  • Tom Holland Chris Pratt Onward Premiere

    Tom Holland and Chris Pratt Show Off Real-Life Bond at Pixar's 'Onward' Premiere

    Pixar’s new movie “Onward” marks a reunion of sorts for Tom Holland and Chris Pratt. The two actors, who both have ties to Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe and most recently teamed in “Avengers: Endgame” as Spider-Man and Star-Lord, play brothers in the animated fantasy adventure. Their friendship has become a highlight of “Onward’s” promotional tour [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content