ViacomCBS International Studios and Italy’s Leone Film Group have forged a strategic partnership by signing a long-term agreement to co-produce a wide range of Italian content for the global market. 

This potentially milestone pact between VIS and Leone — the prominent indie production and distribution shingle owned and operated by late master director Sergio Leone’s children Raffaella and Andrea — will create “vast opportunities for the development and creation of Italian language content, original, scripted, and unscripted formats,” the companies said in a joint statement.

“As part of its commitment to investing in quality content as a strategic lever to generate value for all platforms globally, VIS is bolstering its production capacities in Europe by tapping into the creativity and talent in Italy,” the statement added.

Italy now has an attractive 40% tax rebate for international productions and is in the process of radically revamping Rome’s iconic Cinecittà Studios in a stepped-up effort to attract more foreign shoots.

Details of projects in the VIS/Leone pipeline will be announced shortly.

“We are thrilled to launch this important agreement between VIS and Leone Film Group, a leading company in Italy,” said Laura Abril, SVP & head of VIS EMEA and Asia.

“At VIS we continue to collaborate with the most talented content creators around the world and this agreement aligns perfectly to our strategy. We can’t wait for these stories to come to life and reach the homes of our global audiences.” 

“Together, we look forward to delivering original and innovative Italian projects distinguished by an international quality that will appeal to viewers everywhere and have the potential to be distributed worldwide,” noted Raffaella Leone, CEO of Leone Film Group, in the statement.

All co-produced content will be distributed directly or indirectly through third parties by ViacomCBS Networks Italy which operates the linear local channels Paramount Network, Spike, Vh1 and Super! and pay-TV channels Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and Mtv on Sky Italia. VIS is a unit of ViacomCBS Networks International that includes production of content for ViacomCBS brands and platforms, including Paramount+, Nickelodeon, MTV, and Comedy Central.

Leone Film Group is the Italian co-distributor of Hollywood titles such as “La La Land,” “The Hateful Eight” and “1917” and producers of Paolo Genovese’s smash hit dramedy “Perfect Strangers,” Stefano Sollima’s upcoming “Colt,” based on a Sergio Leone concept, and Gabriele Muccino’s TV series “A Casa Tutti Bene.”