Disney, Amazon, Netflix and Showtime all have TV series of various genres that have been shot recently or will be shot in Sicily.
As one of its earliest Italian origins, Disney + commissioned an untitled television series about the Florio family in Sicily, who over the course of the 19th century built an economic empire on the island and became known as the lords of trade of Europe.
This high-level theatrical epic, which will be directed by Italian Paolo Genovese (“Perfect Strangers”) and produced by Rome’s Lotus Broads, a unit of the Lion Film Group, is now in the selection phase. The Sicilian film, which should begin shooting in July, is based on the national bestseller “I leoni di Siciliano” by Stefania O’Shea, which has been translated into several languages.
The cameras were screened in October in Palermo, the Sicilian capital, in the dark mafia comedy of Amazon Studios “The Bad Guy”, produced by Indigo Film, behind the Oscar-winning film “La grande bellezza” by Paolo Sorrentino.
The series revolves around a Sicilian prosecutor named Nino Scutellaro, played by Sicilian Luigi Lo Cassio, who has dedicated his entire life to the fight against the Cosa Nostra and finds himself accused and convicted of the Mafia himself. So he implements a Machiavellian revenge plan, becoming the “bad boy”.
Netflix was also recently in Palermo for its local Italian original “Incastrati”, with Sicilian comedian duo Ficarra and Picone. It was abandoned in January and has already been refurbished. Around the same time, Italian director Roberto Ando was in Palermo to shoot a miniseries for the Italian RAI bar presenter about Letizia Battaglia, the deceased world-famous photographer who bravely documented the brutal mafia wars of the 1980s and ‘ 90.
Showtime and Endemol Shine are expected to arrive in Palermo soon for Steven Zaillian’s “Ripley” series, based on the novels by Patricia Highsmith. The high-end show starring Andrew Scott and Dakota Fanning is shot almost entirely in Italy using several other Italian locations and an almost entirely local crew.
While none of these products drew on the nearly 3.5 million euros (3.7 million dollars) of small but significant stimulus in Sicily that supported another 45 projects in Sicily last year, they took advantage of the tax credit. Italian, which was collected during the pandemic from 30% to 40% up to 75% of the production costs incurred in Italy. This discount allows manufacturers to get a refund during production, month to month, and to cut costs as they go.
Nicola Tarantino, president of the Film Commission in Sicily, points out that in addition to the incentives, the commission provides logistical support and a lot of help to remove the bureaucracy, especially in the main cities including Palermo, Catania and Messina.