Reg. Trib. Milano n. 418 del 02.07.2007 - Direttore responsabile: Elisabetta Brunella

Special Edition No. 225 - year 19 - 18 May 2024

Special issue on the occasion of the Cannes Film Festival

more than 15,000 subscribers


Dear Readers,

Elisabetta Brunellathis issue opens with a colourful cartogram showing the Italian film - or Italian co-production - that was most successful in 2023 in each of the countries considered. We see a stream of titles ranging from Moretti’s “Il sol dell’avvenire”/“A Brighter Tomorrow” to Bellocchio’s “Rapito”/”Kidnapped” or "L’ombra di Caravaggio”/”Caravaggio’s Shadow” by Michele Placido, right up to “Le otto montagne”/“The Eight Mountains”, the full-length feature taken from Cognetti’s bestseller, which comes first in the largest number of countries.

The film’s international success has been aided by the work of the many distribution companies which, often thanks to years of commitment, allow works made in Italy to encounter spectators.

Their names can be seen in the article itself but also at the following link, which presents the 2023 version of the chart, included in the European Cinema Charts, showing the leading Italian films in different European nations, from Iceland to Turkey, from Finland to Portugal.

To the distributors who play such a crucial role for Italian films, thanks are due from all those who, like us, believe that diversity and quality are essential elements for guaranteeing a long life for the seventh art.

Enjoy your reading,

Elisabetta Brunella
Secretary General of MEDIA Salles


Europe's top Italian films and their distributors
by Elisabetta Brunella

Which was the most widely viewed Italian movie? We can see this at a single glance by looking at the cartogram at the side of the page, which shows us audience favourites all around Europe, from Iceland to Turkey and from Portugal to Finland.

There are around a dozen titles with fairly varied characteristics, which can be regarded as reasons contributing to their success, whilst being aware that the basic recipe - at least for the moment - remains mostly a secret.

We find “confirmed values” by directors with long experience, such as “Il sol dell’avvenire”/“A brighter tomorrow” by Nanni Moretti, which triumphs in Portugal and Spain, or “Rapito”/”Kidnapped” by Marco Bellocchio, in second place in France, but also films linked to more Italian top quality in the world of culture and entertainment, such as the co-production “Le otto montagne”/“The eight mountains, taken from the bestseller by Cognetti and translated into 35 languages, “L’ultima notte d’Amore”/”The last night of Amore”, interpreted by Pierfrancesco Favino, an actor of international calibre, “L’ombra di Caravaggio”/”Caravaggio's shadow”, by and with Michele Placido, on the painter’s dramatic story which never fails to attract passionate interest from international spectators, right up to ”Il materiale emotivo”/”A bookshop in Paris”, a co-production with France taken from a script by Ettore Scola, with Sergio Castellitto in the dual role of actor and director.

Whilst Brando Quilici‘s ”Tiger’s nest” – a film that captures the heart of younger spectators - is completely Italian, the path of co-production was pursued for “La tresse“/“The braid“, which ist he winner in France, as for the ghost story “Sound of silence” and for “Mafia mamma”, the action comedy with Monica Bellucci, filmed between Rome and Bracciano.

Though it is not easy to detect the reasons for a film’s success outside its country of origin, the importance of the distribution phase cannot be disregarded. A glance at the companies that have brought these films to success shows that there is a series of firms that specialize in productions “made in Italy”.

“Rapito“ was brought to France by Ad vitam, an authentic showcase for the cinema of the Bel Paese, which is at present about to distribute “Marcello mio”, following its participation at the Cannes Festival, as well as counting amongst the most recent titles in its catalogue “Marx può aspettare”/“Marx can wait” and “Les Amandiers“/“Forever young”, which came first in 2022.

Even more evident is the case of “Le otto montagne”, which can rely on a network of companies that has brought success to other Italian titles in the past. In Iceland the film was imported by Bíó Paradís, which also distributed “Alcarràs”. Behind the success of “Le otto montagne” in 2023 in Norway and Denmark were, respectively, Selmer Media and Camera Film.

The former company took the co-production “The Truffle Hunters” to top place in 2022, whilst the latter, linked to Copenhagen’s Grand Teatret cinema, distributed “Alcarràs”, the Italian co-production most widely viewed by the Danes in 2022, as well as “The Truffle Hunters”, the 2021 champion. And it is preparing to bring the highly Italian “C’è ancora domani”/“There's still tomorrow” to Hamlet‘s homeland.

Again in Scandinavia, Cinemanse Film distributed “Le otto montagne”, the Italian title that in 2023 came second in Finland, but also “Alcarràs”, in third place in 2022.

In the Czech Republic the film taken from Cognetti’s book relies on Aerofilms, the distribution company vertically integrated with the Prague movie theatres Světozor, Kino Aero and Bio Oko, which in 2022 distributed “A Chiara”, placed second.

In Poland Brando Quilici’s film was handled by Best Film which had already distributed “Ennio”, the most widely viewed Italian film in 2022.

In Greece “L’ultima notte di Amore” was bought by Rosebud 2.1 whose catalogue also features “Rheingold”, in second place, again in 2023, as well as “Il traditore”/“The Traitor”, third in 2020.

The co-production “Mafia mamma”, 2023 champion in Estonia and Latvia, was imported by GPI, which in 2020 distributed the co-production “J’accuse”, third in the charts.

In the Balkans, Blitz Film stands out, winning top place in 2023 with “Mafia mamma” in Croatia and Montenegro and second place with “The tiger’s nest” in Croatia. In 2022 it had already scored a win in Croatia with “Lamborghini: the man behind the legend“.

In Turkey “Sound of silence”, first place in 2023, is in the hands of Bir Films which in 2021 distributed the co-productions “Rifkin’s Festival” and “Pinocchio”, coming in second and third place respectively.

There are countless international success stories of Italian films or co-productions linked to the work of distribution companies specializing in quality cinema: this handful of cases means to bear witness to some significant ones.

This article was published in the Cannes special issue of Cinema & Video Int'l, the MEDIA Salles media partner.


At Cannes 2024 Cicae again offered the traditional meeting point for exhibitors who promote quality cinema in Europe and all over the world and presented the second edition of the course "Arthouse Cinema Training”, to be held in Berlin from 19 to 25 August 2024.

For further information, please see below

Elisabetta Brunella,
MEDIA Salles Secretary General


Sebastian Naumann,
CICAE Managing Director


Applications are open for the 2024 edition!  

Become part of the Arthouse Cinema Training 2024!  

19 - 25 August 2024 in Berlin, Germany

To quickly get to the previous issues, click on these buttons!


MEDIA Salles
Piazza Luigi di Savoia, 24 - 20124 Milano - Italy
Tel.: +39.02.6739781 - Fax: +39.02.67397860

Edito da: MEDIA Salles - Reg. Trib.
Milano n. 418 dello 02/07/2007
Direttore responsabile:
Elisabetta Brunella
Coordinamento redazionale:
Silvia Mancini
Raccolta dati ed elaborazioni statistiche: Paola Bensi, Silvia Mancini