French sales and co-production company Charades has forged an alliance with Italy’s I Wonder Pictures to jointly seek out projects by under-the-radar Italian cinema directors that they can board as co-producers and distribute in Italy and around the world.
The pact between Charades, a prominent Paris-based indie outfit headed by veteran sales agent and former Wild Bunch exec Carole Baraton, and I Wonder, a growing niche Italian distributor owned and operated by Biografilm Festival founder Andrea Romeo, reflects the increased international interest in new Italian cinema and also the need for European companies to join forces as the market consolidates.
The first collaboration between the two outfits will be on “Amanda,” the directorial debut of Italian screenwriter Carolina Cavalli, a writer on Netflix Italian original series “Zero.”
Set in Turin, “Amanda” is about a 24-year-old woman who, having returned back to her native Turin after a stint in Paris, feels uncomfortable there and then intersects with a childhood friend she hasn’t seen in ages, which marks the start of a strong rapport.
“It’s about an against-all-odds friendship between two young and beautiful girls who could both be very successful, but are both kind of misfits,” said Baraton.
Shooting on “Amanda” is set to start in Turin in early October, said the film’s producer Annamaria Morelli, head of Elsinore Film, whom I Wonder and Charades are partnering with. Casting is being kept under wraps.
As for how the alliance between Charades and I Wonder will work, Baraton said they would rather come in early on projects and that “the model of investment is totally flexible, depending on the opportunity.”
“We like to come on board as producers, or co-producers, in the sense that we want to be very involved on the artistic and marketing side,” she added.
“When we come on board they will basically get a portion of their budget, and Italian distribution that will be coordinated in tandem with international distribution,” noted Romeo. “They will also find a joint marketing team since the two teams will be working together.”