Veteran Italian film executive Claudio Rapino, prominent producer Andrea Iervolino and entrepreneur Pietro Peligra have teamed to form film and TV distribution and development company Maestro Distribution, which will launch from the upcoming European Film Market in Berlin.
Rapino (pictured left), a former head of acquisitions and sales at top Italian companies including Leone Film Group, Notorious Pictures and Koch Media Italia, will head Maestro, which plans to buy and theatrically distribute up to 10 international feature films a year. The new company will also act as an international sales agent and an incubator, developing film and TV content and selling original IPs to producers and international partners.
More from Variety
“The idea is to handle 50% finished product and 50% product that we develop,” Rapino said, adding that he will be “developing content mostly in non-Italian languages such as French, German or English to then sell the IP.” Maestro, which is working with a team of writers to develop these IPs, will not be involved in physical production.
On the finished product side, Maestro will be seeking to buy full-rights for mostly U.S. and European indie titles that the company will release theatrically through an outside service, but will do their own marketing.
“We are very happy to establish this new company, which for us is another way of approaching the Italian market with even greater strength, while continuing to interact with the international market as we have always done,” said Iervolino (pictured center), whose production credits include Michael Mann’s “Ferrari,” Johnny Depp-starrer “Waiting for the Barbarians” and “Lamborghini: The Man Behind the Legend” via his ILBE Group, in which he is partnered with Monika Bacardi.
While ILBE has its own in-house sales structure for finished product, Maestro will serve the purpose of providing Iervolino and Bacardi with an additional source of financing from pre-sales, Rapino said.
“With Maestro Distribution, we aim to improve and redefine the way contents are conceived, developed and distributed in Italy and from Italy,” said Peligra, CEO of RS Productions (pictured right), a small but expanding Italian indie and media group that co-owns the publishing imprint that has the local license for Rolling Stone magazine in Italy.
“We are tackling what is clearly an untapped market opportunity in the movie industry,” he added. “RS Productions, throughout its network and expertise, will support Maestro Distribution aiming to provide real benefits to Italian and international movie producers.”
Best of Variety