Italy’s Mediaset and Indigo Film on Tuesday unveiled a glossy Italian adaptation of Scotland-set rape drama “Liar,” titled “Non Mentire,” which marks the first redo of the hit show from ITV and Sundance TV.
All3Media International will kick off global sales on “Non Mentire” at the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin. Buyers will see footage of the show during a Drama Series Days panel titled “A Different Take,” showcasing the British company’s recent move into non-English language dramas.
“Non Mentire,” which means “Don’t Lie” in Italian, is directed by Gianluca Tavarelli (“The Young Montalbano”), shot in Turin, and toplines Greta Scarano (“The Name of the Rose”) in the role of a teacher who goes on a date with a surgeon, which prompts an accusation of rape. The accused surgeon is being played in “Non Mentire” by Alessandro Preziosi (“Medici: Masters of Florence”).
The Italian “Liar” redo, which will bow Feb. 17 on Mediaset’s flagship Canale 5 channel, signals a major change in the type of scripted content commissioned by the top Italian commercial broadcaster, which is controlled by former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi. Mediaset has been making an effort to ramp up production and improve the quality of its primetime fare after several of their local dramas flopped.
Francesca Cima, a partner in Indigo Films, the shingle behind Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar-winner “The Great Beauty,” said she was pleased to bring to a wide audience a psychological thriller examining a possible date rape from the different perspectives of the two lead characters. She noted that Canale 5 viewers “do not necessarily belong to the camp that is on the side of women.”
Cima said that the original “Liar,” created by BAFTA- and Golden Globe-nominated producers and screenwriters Harry and Jack Williams, was written “before the birth of the #MeToo movement” and that the Italian production was “fortunate to be able to intercept this aspect.”
Cima added that, thematically, the show is timely in Italy where, under current legislation, non-consensual sex is not automatically classified as rape and alleged rape victims must file complaints within a six-month statute of limitations, a rule that experts say deters alleged victims from coming forward. “The common attitude [in Italy] when it comes to rape is ‘She kind of brought it upon herself,'” Cima said. “And many women have been left alone when they’ve decided to come forward and press charges.”
Mediaset head of drama Daniele Cesarano told reporters in Rome that the choice of making “Non Mentire” was “a very strong and precise statement on Mediaset’s part,” especially since he had vowed not do remakes and to focus entirely on local originals. The decision to commission the show was made by his boss, Mediaset production chief Alfonso Cometti. “We said: ‘We want this stuff. This is the type of storytelling Mediaset is interested in’,” Cesarano added.