In its latest acquisition, ITV Studios has taken a majority stake in Italian indie Cattleya, the production company behind Gomorrah and Romanzo Criminale. Based in Rome, Cattleya was launched in 1997 by founder Riccardo Tozzi who was joined by President and Co-CEO Giovanni Stabilini and Co-CEO Marco Chimenz. Cattleya will retain full creative and production autonomy with ITV Studios Global Entertainment distributing its series where rights are available.
Financial details were not disclosed, however this is a significant move for ITV. Cattleya has produced over 70 films, including Best Foreign Language Academy Award nominee Don’t Tell and domestic box office smashes Benvenuti Al Sud, Benvenuti Al Nord and Il Principe Abusivo. In recent years, the company has focused more on TV drama production, including Netflix’s first Italian original, Suburra, which is based on Cattleya’s own feature of the same name and whose first episodes world premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month.
It’s also got the third season of the award-winning Gomorrah coming up. The mafia series has been sold to over 70 countries and will be broadcast on Sky Italy starting in November. Sky and Canal+ ordered Cattleya’s English-language Zero Zero Zero, which focuses on the global cocaine trade and comes from the creative team behind Gomorrah. Further, in June, the company set Emmy-nominated documentary filmmaker Francesco Carrozzini to direct Midnight Sun, an adaption of the bestselling Jo Nesbo novel.
ITV Studios is positioning itself across the international drama business to meet the growing demand for European series, particularly among SVOD platforms. This acquisition joins ITV Studios’ investment in Tetra Media Studios in France and existing scripted businesses in the Nordics and Germany as a means to take advantage of the many opportunities for locally produced content with global appeal.
Cattleya’s team also includes producers and partners Francesca Longardi and Gina Gardini. In 2010, it created subsidiary think|cattleya with partner Monica Riccioni to produce commercials.