The deal “confirms Fremantle’s strategic decision to make some of its top international productions in Italy: a decision that finds the perfect and natural partner in Cinecittà,” Fremantle said in a statement.
A radical revamp of Cinecittà, which has been underway since May 2021, has been gaining traction with a rise in occupancy of its sound stages and backlot, realistic prospects for profitability, and new state-of-the-art filming facilities.
The Cinecittà revamp is being conceived and carried forth by Nicola Maccanico, a former Warner Bros. and Sky Italia senior exec who has a mandate from Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini to turn the Rome studios into continental Europe’s top filming facilities thanks to a €300 million ($339) million) investment from the European Union’s post-pandemic recovery fund. Maccanico has since been busy overhauling several of the existing 19 sound stages and getting five new stages built, while also devising a five-year financial plan under which he expects Cinecittà to start turning a profit in 2023.
In addition to studio rental, the agreement with Fremantle includes the long-term use of Cinecittà’s services such as costume and prop facilities, digital post-production and 35mm and 16mm-development facilities. “Overall, it will offer production teams an all-round, integrated service which is efficient, inclusive and sustainable,” the statement said.
“The talented Italian and international professionals working with Fremantle need somewhere to bring their ideas and projects to life,” said Andrea Scrosati, group COO and European CEO of Fremantle.
“With all its history, the innovation and growth projects recently announced and, above all, the extraordinary professionalism of its workers, Cinecittà is the perfect place,” Scrosati added.
“We are delighted that this agreement will allow us to produce even more TV series, films and programs in Italy than we already are at present, and to do so with that level of excellence which is vital for us.”
Nicola Maccanico, who is Cinecittà’s CEO, underscored how “The agreement with Fremantle is exceptionally tactical for Cinecittà.”
“It confirms our production hub’s potential for playing a key role in the new global audio-visual market,” he said, also noting that the pact “lays the groundwork for a well-structured partnership with a major international player [Fremantle] which enjoys sound relations with the Italian production system. Global and local at the same time, just like Cinecittà.”
In Italy, Fremantle operates with its Fremantle Italia subsidiary in the entertainment and documentary market. The conglomerate produces TV series and films through Wildside and The Apartment, the outfits behind TV series “My Brilliant Friend” and “The Young Pope.” The Apartment recently made Paolo Sorrentino’s Oscar nominated film “The Hand of God” for Netflix.