Sky Italia launches local cinema channel

By Julian Clover

July 21, 2009

Sky Italia has announced plans for a new channel that will screen the best of Italian cinema.

Sky Cinema Italia will launch on July 31, the same date as rival DTH platform Tivý Sat is scheduled to get underway, though the satcaster insists the new channel was already in its roadmap. Its output will range from spaghetti westerns through to modern comedy, including the work of popular Italian directors like Federico Fellini and Giuseppe Tornatore.

The opening night will feature Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), regarded as a masterpiece, and not screened on Italian television since October 1996, subsequent to its restoration by the National Film Institute in Rome in 1991.

At a press briefing Nils Hartmann, Sky Italiaís director of film and entertainment channels, said the satcasterís support of the Italian film industry was ongoing and included both investment in new movies and restoration of classic works.