Leone Film Groupthis Lotus Production Shingle founded Lotus Factory, a new unit for high-genre projects from Italy created for the international market.

This currently includes a live action TV series in development about the origins of Santa Clause, where Lotus chief Marco Belardi has recruited top US talents: Oscar nominated writer Jim Capobianco (“Ratatouille”) and Robert Lence (“Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Toy Toy”).

“We plan to make films with genres different from those normally produced in Italy,” Belardi said Variation, notes that the output of Italian script content consists mainly of “drama, comedy and occasional noir.”

For example, Italian film and TV content targeting family audiences is very rare, a gap that Belardi wants to fill with Lotus Factory.

Belardi has recruited young Italian director Nicola Abbatangelo, who recently completed “The Land of Dreams,” an English-language musical film in New York 1920s, to serve as creative director of new clothing.

Abbatangelo came up with an idea for a story from Santa Clause that is still untitled, which he wrote with Fabio Guaglione (“Mine,” “True Love”) and Capobianco and Lence. Belardi said he wanted to develop a project from Santa Clause and create his own pilot before shopping for a giant stream.

Another family targeting project in development at Lotus Factory is the animated feature “Fear Tales,” whose logline reads, “The adventure of the most frightened boy in the world and his best friend: fear itself.”

For this project, Belardi has recruited Brazilian animator Sandro Cleuzo, whose works include “Mary Poppins Returns” and whose studio produces animation for the Oscar-nominated Spanish film “Chico and Rita.”

Projects in the early stages at Lotus Factory consist of “dystopian trilogy,” and horror, thriller and action projects. The “factory” aspect is related to Belardi’s intention to set up a workshop where international talents can come to Italy and share their expertise. Meanwhile, these workshops can be used to search for emerging Italian talent.

Meanwhile, Belardi’s Lotus Production unit, which has long herded “Colt“- the Western English language that was previously announced will be directed by Stefano Sollima (” Soldado “), based on Sergio Leone concept – has collaborated with The Apartment, Lorenzo Mieli’s Fremantle unit, to finance high-end English-language photos.

Photo shoots will now begin in January 2021 in Canada, Bulgaria and Italy, said Belardi, who maintains casting details. Leone Film Group is owned and operated by children Sergio Leone, Raffaella and Andrea. “Colt” took the cue from the six shooters packed by Clint Eastwood in “A Fistful of Dollars,” which became a narrative device because it was passed on from owner to owner throughout the Old West.

Other projects in various stages in the Lotus Production pipeline include:

  • TV series for Sky Italia about Alfredo Rampi, an Italian boy who in 1981 fell into an artesian well. His rescue efforts on television gripped the country. Will start shooting in September.
  • A film for Netflix and Mediaset entitled “Mio Fratello, Mia Sorella,” directed by Roberto Capucci. Shooting is expected to begin in late August.
  • A film directed by Paolo Costella and co-written with Paolo Genovese (“Perfect Strangers”) entitled “Per tutta la vita.” Shooting is expected to begin in September.
  • A new film by Paolo Genovese with the Italian A-list cast is expected to start shooting in January 2021.
  • The TV series directed by Gabriele Muccino previously titled “A casa tutti bene” for Sky Italia, and the next feature by Muccino (“The Pursuit of Happiness”).
  • The next feature is by Paolo Virzì (“Like Crazy”).



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