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Remake it! The borderless power of stories


- The Business Street market (17-21 October) that runs alongside the Rome IFF hosted the focus on the growing remakes business which is enjoying a great success in all the world

Remake it! The borderless power of stories
Luca Miniero’s Benvenuti al Sud

The Business Street market (17-21 October) that runs alongside the Rome IFF hosted this morning (18 October) REMAKE IT!, a focus on the growing remakes business which is enjoying a great success all over the world.

Moderated by Argentinean producer Guido Rud (Filmsharks Int’, CEO), the workshop, which aimed at fostering an effective networking between professionals, highlighted pros and cons of remake through case studies of successfully remade films from both a legal and commercial point of view.

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Notable guest speakers from several parts of the world shared their experience staring from the question: what is the advantage of filming a remake?

“It’s the fastest way to make a film, you’re requested a smaller development time and you can escape from the risk of producing a new ‘creature’”, said Francesca Longardi (Executive Producer and Head of Development for Cattleya’s cinematographic projects). Cattleya started its production venture in 2001 with a remake: Our tropical island (Mari del Sud), from German director Thomas Bahmann's Suedsee, eigene Insel.

“We choose strong stories with a high production value - viewers’ taste is changing and the theatrical market is suffering, so we moved our focus on TV series”. And its own TV series have turned the tide: “Gomorrah was a huge international hit and Criminal Novel’s remake rightshave been sold to Lionsgate in the US”, concluded Longardi.

Crime and police stories have great remake potential, according to Japanese producer Michiyo Yoshizaki from NDF International, one of UK’s leading independent film production companieswith a long list of award-winning films.

“To select a film you need to avoid certain genres and prefer safer categories, such as action, suspense, thrillers and gangster films, or sexy love stories”, commented Yoshizaki. “It’s very hard to adapt an american screwball comedy, and even british comedies” - humour, it seems, is a very local fare.

So much local to need a strong adaptation to set it in a different context, as the another case study, Luca Miniero’s Benvenuti al Sud [+see also:
film review
film profile
, the Italian double of Dany Boon’s French mega-hit Welcome to the Sticks [+see also:
film profile
, produced by Cattleya (€30 millions at the box office, with a sequel) or La peggior settimana della mia vita [+see also:
film profile
from Oscar winning director Gabriele Salvatores’ Colorado Film production company, taken from BBC TV series The Worst Week of My Life.

“Our company produces features films and TV entertainment, but we are also a talent agency representing a number of comedians. We focus on comedy because thats’ our job: we know our actors, at which stage their career is, so we can choose the better script for them”, added Colorado Film’s CEO Alessandro Usai. “We made this remake film from a TV series, selecting the best gags and the strongest moments and introducing a new character in the Italian version. We took €10 millions from a €3,5 millions budget”.

Another genre that seem to work well in a different setting is romantic story, like Perdona si te llamo amor [+see also:
film profile
, remake of Federico Moccia’s huge Italian hit Scusa ma ti chiamo amore [+see also:
film profile
. Carolina Lotsberg, Executive Producer at Spanish broadcaster Telecinco, is sure about the power of love stories in remakes: “We had the idea of adapting the Italian version and not to copy it, changing lines, situations and names. We started the production but them Moccia came to the set, and he was horrified. So the scriptwriters had to start all over again, delving into the book, and that was the right direction: it worked”.

The workshop will be followed in the afternoon by B2B meetings with TBS accredited participants to turn the event in a real networking occasion.

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