Rai Fiction, one of the top broadcasting companies in Italy, is all set to go international. It wants to play an important role on the global drama scene. The cash-rich company is no stranger to lavish production budgets: the commercial concern invests almost 200 million euros churning out 400 hours of quality content every year.
Eleonora Andreatta, the Rai Fiction chief, articulated her company's aims. She said that as a leading public broadcaster, it is not enough for the company to play a big role in the national level; it is important for Rai to play an important part in developing the audiovisual industry of Italy outside the country. Rai has made an excellent name for itself by broadcasting Medici: Masters of Florence. The second season has Daniel Sharman playing young Lorenzo, an important person in Florence during the 15th century. Sharman himself attracted accolades for his acting in the series.
For Rai, producing Medici, a show which showcased the history of Italy, in English, carried a considerable risk as it could have alienated the local audiences. The company's fears were unfounded. The show became a big hit. It was exported to all the major markets. The Beta Film company owned by Jan Mojto sold it in international markets.
Rai has a number of international oriented drama series other than Medici in the pipeline. One of them is L'amica Geniale or My Brilliant Friend. The latter is a series to be made in the Italian language. It was commissioned by HBO. Saverio Costanzo is slated to be the director. The series is based on the Elena Ferrante-written 'Neapolitan Novels', a best-selling book series. Rai has made considerable investments, with the complete Gianturco neighborhood being rebuilt for filming the series.
Rai will also shoot 'The Name of the Rose' by Giacomo Battiato. Rupert Everett and John Turturro are already booked to star in the project. Shooting will begin early in 2018 at Cinecitta. Production designers have started to build an abbey and a library for this series. The 'Name of the Rose' marks the maiden television adaptation of the famous historical murder mystery. Jean-Jacques Annaud had made the novel into a movie in 1986. There has to be a total of eight episodes. The English language show reputedly has a 23-million Euro budget. The Tele Munchen Group of Germany will sell the series in the international markets.