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New Italian sales company Vision Distribution, headed by veteran executive Catia Rossi, is launching from the European Film Market with a still-small multi-genre slate but big ambitions to become a leading global distributor of Italy’s domestic output.

Having a new player with muscle and expertise specifically dedicated to distributing Italian movies internationally is good news for Italian producers and “signals the vitality” of the country’s current filmmaking output, says Rossi. It also is another sign of a market shift towards sales and production forces increasingly merging.

Vision Distribution’s muscle comes from being the sales arm of a unique content alliance formed in 2016 by pay TV operator Sky Italia and five prominent Italian production companies — ITV-owned Cattleya, Fremantle’s Wildside, Lucisano Media Group, Palomar and Indiana Production — that inked a deal to jointly release their films domestically. Their new international sales arm just takes the pact one step further.

Rossi, who set up the new outfit just a month ago, will be launching sales on seven completed films at the EFM, including Berlin Generation 14Plus pic “Ordinary Justice” (pictured) as well as three upcoming projects. But her plan is to handle a slate “of 20 [new] titles per year,” she says.

If, as is likely, Rossi succeeds to gain that type of scale, Vision Distribution is bound to create some disruption in the dynamics of Italy’s film exports, which have been dominated for years by foreign sales companies such as The Match Factory and Celluloid Dreams, which have practically taken over as Italian cinema’s dominant distributors.

“Our mission is to be a new voice in the Italian sales landscape and to work with everybody,” said Rossi, who noted that Vision Distribution isn’t just selling product made by the company’s five partners.

“Ordinary Justice” for example, a first work directed by Chiara Bellosi about bonds forged in a courthouse by women on opposite sides of a murder case, was produced by Tempesta Film and will be released in Italy by Istituto Luce-Cinecittà.

Vision Distribution’s initial slate comprises: “Kidz,” a parenting dramedy that has scored roughly €3.5 million ($3.7 million) at the Italian box office via Vision; psychological thriller “Feel Your Memories,” by Cristina Comencini (“The Beast in the Heart”); organ-donor drama “Everything Is Gonna be Alright” by Francesco Bruni, whose film “Easy” and “Friends by Chance” have travelled widely. Upcoming pics include “Shadows,” the first English-language movie backed by Vision. The Ireland-set chiller stars Saskia Reeves (“Luther”) and young British talents Mia Threapleton and Lola Petticrew.

 

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