“International players, both in the fields of production and distribution, are looking to Italy with great interest”
Industry Report: Series
David Bogi • Head of International Distribution and Business, Rai Com
We spoke with David Bogi, Head of International Distribution and Business at Rai Com, on the eve of his departure for MIPCOM
Cineuropa sat down with David Bogi, Head of International Distribution and Business at Rai Com, ahead of his departure for MIPCOM – the leading audiovisual market dedicated to TV content, whether traditional products, digital or those aimed at multimedia platforms – which is unfolding at Cannes’ Palais des Festivals venue between 14-17 October.
Cineuropa: You’ve been at Rai Com since 2015. What has changed over the past few years in terms of the strategy of RAI’s commercial arm and what is your basic philosophy?
David Bogi: The data for the past few years is very encouraging. It’s down to the careful purchasing strategy that’s been implemented over the past two years and to the quality and the variety – which is also ever increasing – of RAI Fiction and RAI Cinema productions. I would also like to highlight our development potential in markets and territories where Rai Com is already strongly positioned, and the new distribution areas which are opening up to us where we’re seeing consistent growth.
Which new TV titles will you mostly be focusing on at MIPCOM and at the other upcoming, international markets?
At MIPCOM, we’ll be announcing a highly anticipated series, Il Commissario Ricciardi (RAI Fiction, Clemart – 6x100’). This series – which is currently in production in Naples – is based on the very successful series of novels by Maurizio de Giovanni, which have been translated all over the world. In Naples in the 1930s, this young DCI never fails to uncover the guilty parties behind the homicides bloodying the city, as a result of a very special gift: he can see the ghosts of the murdered victims and can hear the last thoughts they had before they died. Also set in Naples, though this time in the modern-day era, there’s another series which we’ll be presenting this season, starring Elena Sofia Ricci: Vivi e lascia vivere - produced by RAI Fiction and Bibi Film and directed by Pappi Corsicato – alternates drama with entertainment as it explores day-to-day life in the various city districts. The series intitled Angela, meanwhile, produced by RAI Fiction and 11 Marzo Film, will come in three 100-minute episodes. It’s a dramatic tale starring Vanessa Incontrada. Added to these is an interesting generational tale which falls somewhere between social drama and crime story, set in Florence and starring Sergio Castellitto, Pezzi Unici, produced by RAI Fiction-Indiana Production and directed by Cinzia TH Torrini (12x50’). Last but not least, there’s the new investigative series which is achieving excellent listener numbers on RAI 1, Imma Tataranni. Loosely based around the novels of the Campiello Prize winner Mariolina Venezia, the series is a RAI Fiction-ITV Movie co-production.
What about TV films and documentaries?
We have a few new TV movies such as Enrico Piaggio, which tells the tale of the entrepreneur who made Vespa a household name by way of a revolutionary (for the time) communications strategy, making the brand an integral part of the Italian way of life. And I ragazzi dello Zecchino, directed by Ambrogio lo Giudice and produced by RAI Fiction with Compagnia Leone. As regards documentaries, a huge enrichment of the current offering is underway. The series Le Meraviglie by Alberto Angela, already distributed in over 40 countries, will have its second season with a further 6 episodes. We’ll also be offering significant investigative series within the crime genre, which is a real mainstay of the RAI networks, amongst which Maxi Processo and Mafia Capitale.
And in terms of feature films?
We’ll be presenting the first film by Ginevra Elkann, If Only [+see also:
film profile], at the autumn markets - a film that opened the Locarno Film Festival and which has already garnered positive feedback from critics. From Daniele Luchetti we’ll have Ordinary Happiness [+see also:
film profile], a fun comedy with melancholic undertones starring Pif (Pierfrancesco Diliberto). Last but not least, there’ll be Volare [+see also:
film profile] by Gabriele Salvatores, presented out of competition at the Venice Film Festival and based on a true story. It’s an emotional journey/escape which is part drama, part comedy.
Do you find that Italian content works better? Or international stories?
A great number of international players, both in the fields of production and distribution, are looking to Italy with great interest. Italian creativity, know-how and the history of our film and television industry is attracting considerable attention. My Brilliant Friend, co-produced by RAI Fiction alongside HBO, is the most striking example of this. And specifically Italian offerings, such as Inspector Montalbano, have now toured the world: having gone from 20, RAI Com now distributes this successful series born out of the works of Andrea Camilleri in over 60 countries around the world.
How do you view other European players? Are they rivals or potential allies?
On the co-production front, we’re allies – or at least potential allies - through and through, and very interesting ones at that. On the distribution front, we’re in competition, but we can still develop synergies and alliances which allow us to optimise our respective business potential and individual strengths.
In the realm of documentaries, RAI has entered into several partnerships in terms of distribution and European co-productions…
Precisely. RAI Com, in partnership with RAI, has signed a few co-production and distribution agreements with pertinent public broadcasters over the past few years, such as Arte, RSI and France Télévisions, which have allowed for the development of new products of an international standard, and which represent a real opportunity for the various RAI networks, as well as for our own catalogue.
(Translated from Italian)
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