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Cannes: Italy’s Notorious Pictures on Buying Spree Takes ‘Vivarium,’ Ups Production (EXCLUSIVE)

Italian distribution, production, and exhibition company Notorious Pictures is on a buying spree at the Cannes Film Market where they’ve acquired four high-profile titles, including Jesse Eisenberg and Imogen Poots sci-fi-fier “Vivarium,” which world-premiered in Critics’ Week.

On the production side the expanding outfit has teamed up with Belgium’s Tarantula Productions on Islamic terrorism thriller “The Shift” after the announced pre-sale last week of global rights to Netflix of their upcoming English-language romcom “Love. Wedding. Repeat,” which is co-produced with the U.K.’s Tempo Productions and currently shooting in Rome.

In Cannes Notorious – whose name pays homage to both the Hitchcock film and the rock band Duran Duran – acquired Italian rights to “Vivarium” from XYZ Films.

From the U.K.’s Independent Film Company they’ve taken “One Thousand Paper Cranes” in which Evan Rachel Wood will star alongside Jim Sturgess and Shinobu Terajima; while from The Solution Group Notorious took Liam Neeson and Kate Walsh action thriller “Honest Thief”; and Russian animation title “Nutcracker and The Magic Flute” from Luminescence.

Notorius chief Guglielmo Marchetti in January announced he was branching out into exhibition with plans to have 20 multiplexes up and running within the next five years, which could make the company Italy’s top player operating across all segments of the value chain.

In Cannes he said that production “is now becoming a major driver of our growth plan.”

Shooting is set to start in July in Belgium on French-language “The Shift” co-produced by Notorius and Tarantula, which is headed by Joseph Rouschop and frequently co-produces with Italy. Tarantula recently teamed up with Vivo Film on Susanna Nicchiarelli’s “Miss Marx.”

Young Italian director Alessandro Tonda, who has served as an a.d. on hit TV series “Gomorrah,” will direct the high-octane thriller about two young Islamic suicide bombers, Eden and Abdel, who break into a Brussels high-school on a mission to cause major bloodshed. However Abdel blows up earlier than planned, leaving Eden among the wounded rescued by a paramedics team unaware that he is wearing an explosive belt. Casting is being finalized.

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