The European major running with three movies

The "Fremantle File" (33 films and 600 series this year) explained by his Coo, the Italian Andrea Scrosati: "Great talents, European and global vision, creative, productive and operative collaborations" 

Venezia 79 certifies something new: there’s a new player among the majors, and it is Fremantle Media. The company owned by Bertelsmann, known until a few years ago for entertaining shows such as X Factor and Idol, formats that were sold worldwide, arrives this year at Lido with three great movies in competition, Bones and all by Luca Guadagnino, L’immensità by Emanuele Crialese with Penelope Cruz and The Eternal Daughter by Joanna Hogg, with Tilda Swinton. In addition, there are Siccità by Paolo Virzì, selected in the official selection out of competition, and various titles among the various collateral section of this year’s festival. This is the picture of a strategy: the acceleration that Fremantle gave to increase with original dynamics the production of movies and tv series that brought the company to gain the Jury Special Award at Venezia 78 for Paolo Sorrentino’s The Hand of God, then Academy Award Nominated, and the Grand Prix in Cannes 2022 for The Eight Mountains, an example of European co-production headed by Wildside (Fremantle Group) with an Italian story (based on the homonymous novel by Paolo Cognetti), Italian actors (Alessandro Borghi and Luca Marinelli) and Belgian directors (Felix van Groeningen and Charlotte Vandermeersch). The advocate of this change of direction is a top Italian manager, Andrea Scrosati, Fremantle’s Coo Worldwide from 2018 to 2021 and Continental Europe CEO. 50 years, eight spent as Evp Sky for all the non-sporting content, passionate for production and the only present every year in the Variety Top 500 chart about the most influential global players in entertainment and media. He was the founder of Vision Distribution and the father of Gomorra and The Young Pope, which brought the Italian tv series on the international market again. Convincing him to talk about the “revolution of the scripted” that is driving leading the big group (around 2 billion revenues in 2021), it’s the opportunity to understand how is changing the philosophy of production worldwide: “Fremantle –Scrosati explains – has cinema in its Dna, we are the owner of Ufa, the German major that produced iconic movies such as Metropolis and The Blue Angel. In the last few years, we significantly increased our investments in the film sector. There were 8 years ago, this year are 33, completed and in production, all made with extraordinary talents”. The scale of this boom of Fremantle scripted productions is shown especially from the series: “In 2022 –Scrosati still explains– we’ll deliver 100 series. We have 600 more in active development. 900 in the phase of study“. A massive and diversified production characterized by high quality explained by the set up of original creative and production process: “We are operative in 26 countries (the company just acquired the Italian Lux Vide, the Italian production working on scripted projects owned by Fremantle are now three, Lux joins Wildside and The Apartment). Our companies and labels share ideas, experiences, and creative and productive best practices. Today originality and quality grow from a continuous intellectual dialogue among different talents and cultures. We have dozens of co-productions with very different countries. There’s an international team focused on the fast acquisition of rights of novels and short novels. We also have a bureau that studies the development of tax credit around the world, updating our producers in real-time with the best opportunities“.

One of the key point of “Fremantle route to creativity” are the talents: “We believe –Scrosati underlines – in the build-up of a deep partnership relationship with the creative talents that with us find the ideal condition to work: we develop their stories together with total freedom about the format and the final destination. Because stories are not the same, some must be told in 90 minutes, other needs more time and become top series“. The list of the talent working with Fremantle is constantly expanding: the Italians SorrentinoGuadagninoStefano Sollima, the international Pablo LarrainStephen Knight, Michael WinterbottomKirill Serebrennikov, each one of them worldwide appreciated and Oscar-winners or nominated. And, of course, Angelina Jolie: the exclusive collaboration with the American star is the adamant example of the Fremantle philosophy working with talents. “She just wrapped the shooting of Without Blood – Scrosati unveils -, she directs the movie that has been shot mostly in CinecittàI’m proud that Angelina accepted to work in Italy. The choice was due to opportunities and production values. The professional of Cinecittà with whom we closed a big partnership deal a few months ago will guarantee a Hollywood-like A-level with the plus of the creative problem-solving skills typically Italian. And the Italian tax credit is one of the most effective worldwide“. An essential matter for a company that “produces films and series mostly self-funding, then assuming the business risk” is which channel or platforms choosing to deliver its products on the marker:” Today we have multiple options to enhance a product: movie theatres, streaming platforms, hybrid models, in this way the value of the talent increases. Producers know that film theatre is excellence. It’s not by chance that only 15% of the movies we are producing will be distributed directly on streaming. But it would be a big mistake imposing to the consumer the way he can enjoy a story. Our goal must be to make the audience happy to return to theatres. What makes the difference is a beautiful story, a movie that establishes an emphatic relationship with its audience will be a successful product. We know that the audience has the last word. We can’t forget that“. 

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