Drama series My Brilliant Friend, based on Elena Ferrante's bestseller, begins production this summer


HBO-RAI ORIGINAL DRAMA SERIES
MY BRILLIANT FRIEND,
BASED ON THE BESTSELLING BOOK BY ELENA FERRANTE,
TO BEGIN PRODUCTION THIS SUMMER

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Saverio Costanzo Directs All Eight Episodes;
Produced By Lorenzo Mieli And Mario Gianani For Wildside And
Domenico Procacci For Fandango
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When the most important friend in her life seems to have disappeared without a trace, Elena Greco, a now-elderly woman immersed in a house full of books, turns on her computer and starts writing the story of their friendship. She met Raffaella Cerullo, whom she has always called Lila, in the first year of primary school in 1950. Set in a dangerous and fascinating Naples, their story thus begins and goes on to cover over 60 years of their lives, trying to describe the mystery of Lila, Elena’s brilliant friend and – in a way – her best friend, her worst enemy.

            ROME, LOS ANGELES, NEW YORK, March 30, 2017 – Production is set to begin this summer on MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, an eight-episode drama series from Saverio Costanzo (“Private,” “The Solitude of Prime Numbers,” “Hungry Hearts”), who directs all eight episodes. The show is based on the best-selling book of the same name by Elena Ferrante, which is the first of her four-part series published in the U.S. by Europa Editions.
            Produced by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani for Wildside and Domenico Procacci for Fandango, the HBO-RAI original series will be filmed in Italian. Adapted for TV and story written by Elena Ferrante, Francesco Piccolo, Laura Paolucci and Saverio Costanzo. The executive producer for Wildside and Fandango is Jennifer Schuur. The international distributor is FremantleMedia International.
            Says Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming, “We are thrilled to partner with Wildside, Rai and Fandango to bring the powerful, epic storytelling of Elena Ferrante and her Neapolitan Novels to life. Through her characters, Elena and Lila, we will witness a lifelong friendship set against the seductive social web of Naples, Italy. An exploration of the complicated intensity of female friendship, these ambitious stories will no doubt resonate with the HBO audience.”
            Notes Antonio Campo Dall’Orto, director general, RAI, “With MY BRILLIANT FRIEND, RAI brings to TV screens the extraordinary publishing success by Elena Ferrante. This is an ambitious project that satisfies many of the public service’s objectives in the field of TV drama. It is Italian and international; it is universal but complex; it is a huge co-production with a global value. Thanks to a first-time cooperation with HBO, a cutting-edge broadcaster in the field of TV series, and producers now established at the international level like Wildside and Fandango, the Italian TV drama takes another step forward in exporting Italian products around the world. A strategy that looks at quality and the market, playing the cards of Italian creativity and talent and of the high level of expertise reached in the creation and production of TV series.”
            Observes Lorenzo Mieli, CEO, Wildside, “Producing a series based on the incredible work of Elena Ferrante is an exciting challenge. Through the eyes and lives of two extraordinary friends, her quadrilogy describes 50 years of Italian history, touching on universal themes and feelings. We and Fandango are particularly proud of having brought together two partners like HBO and Rai for a series with a strong Italian identity, but aimed at a global audience. A project that can mark a further great step forward for original Italian productions and a confirmation of Wildside’s international business.”
            Notes Domenico Procacci, sole administrator, Fandango, “This is also a good story in terms of production. We’re working very well with Wildside and Rai, a company that is changing, and that now can, editorially speaking, be more daring than before. Having HBO in the production structure now is exciting: They’ve done some of the best series ever, and their presence is a guarantee, for everyone, of absolute attention to quality. This attention is confirmed with the choice of a director like Saverio Costanzo. The objective we all have is to produce high quality for as broad a public as possible. Exactly what Elena Ferrante did with her novels.

ABOUT HBO
Home Box Office, Inc. is the premium television programming subsidiary of Time Warner Inc. and the world’s most successful pay TV service, providing the two television services – HBO® and Cinemax® – to approximately 134 million subscribers worldwide. The services offer the popular subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand® and Cinemax On Demand®, as well as HBO GO® and MAX GO®, HD feeds and multiplex channels. HBO NOW®, the network’s internet-only premium streaming service, provides audiences with instant access to HBO’s acclaimed programming in the U.S. Internationally, HBO branded television networks, along with the subscription video-on-demand products HBO On Demand and HBO GO, bring HBO services to over 60 countries. HBO and Cinemax programming is sold into over 150 countries worldwide.

ABOUT RAI
Rai is Italy's national public broadcasting company. The Rai group is to be found in all platforms with an ample free offering, differing by genre and target. Every day in Italy about 39 million persons of at least 14 years of age, equal to 76% of the population, watch, read or listen to Rai contents, looking at one of its TV channels, listening to one of its radio stations or visiting one of its internet portals. Rai’s TV and radio offer includes 13 digital terrestrial TV channels, of which 6 are available in HD, and 10 radio stations. The TV broadcasts are also available on the Tiv├╣ Sat platform and on SAT TV channels. Rai Play is the multimedia platform which allows all the contents of Rai to be viewed through all devices connected to the Internet, in both streaming (simulcast of TV channels) and on-demand modes. Rai Fiction – Rai’s TV drama production branch – is leader for TV series in Italy, with a yearly production of some 450 hours, and a partner for international co-productions.

ABOUT WILDSIDE
Wildside is one of Italy’s leading production companies, with a solid track record for delivering exceptional content to local and international audiences. Founded in 2009 by Lorenzo Mieli and Mario Gianani, the company has produced award-winning movies with talents such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Marco Bellocchio and Saverio Costanzo, competing in Europe’s most renowned festivals (Cannes, Venice, Berlin), and has also accomplished a long streak of commercial hits in the comedy market. For TV, amongst other titles, Wildside has produced three seasons of the local adaptation of “In Treatment”, “1992” and “1993” for Sky and RAI’s 2016 hit series “The Mafia Only Kills in Summer.” In 2016 the company has also released its first English-language international co-production: the debut in television of Academy Award director Paolo Sorrentino, “The Young Pope,” starring Jude Law. Wildside is part of FremantleMedia, one of the largest creators, producers and distributors of television brands in the world.

ABOUT FANDANGO
Domenico Procacci’s Fandango was founded in 1989. Since then, Fandango has produced more than 100 films, Italian and international, participating to all international film festivals and winning numerous awards, among them two Grand Prix in Cannes with “Gomorra” and “Reality,” both directed by Matteo Garrone. Nanni Moretti, Paolo Sorrentino, Michelangelo Antonioni, Emir Kusturica, Rolf De Heer, Milcho Mancevski, Emanuele Crialese, Richard Lowenstein, Gabriele Muccino, Daniele Vicari, Luciano Ligabue and Ferzan Ozpetek are only some of the directors Fandango has worked with. Fandango also produces and develops TV series and TV Movies such as “Gomorra,” “Limbo” and “L’Oriana,”

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