London’s Taskovski Films Nabs IFDA Competitor ‘Ultimina’ (EXCLUSIVE)

London-based Taskovski Films has acquired worldwide rights outside Italy to Jacopo Quadri’s “Ultimina,” which world premieres on Saturday Nov. 21 at Amsterdam’s IDFA documentary festival.
“Ultimina” is co-produced by Quadri’s Rome-based outfit Ubulibri with Rai Cinema and the deal takes in streaming rights on the Taskovski Films Vimeo VOD platform.

The documentary follows a 86-year-old woman living alone in a Tuscany farming country, who looks back on a tough life in which men have always been the boss.

“The film is presented in a unique auteurist language and it touches on an important topic for us which is women’s rights, speaking not only about the older days and generations in Italy, but the whole of European women rights over the last 70 years,” Taskovski Films CEO, Irena Taskovski told Variety.

She added: “We were captivated by the character of Ultimina, a cheerful and joyous 80-year old lady full of enthusiasm and energy, the ‘last of her six siblings’ living in Tuscany on her own, isolated from all and all with a fulfilled life. ‘Ultimina’ is an inspiring woman for today’s generations and in the current times with the pandemic.”

The second feature and new film by Jacopo Quadri plays at IDFA’s Mid-Length documentary competition, “an immense opportunity to have the world premiere here, with full cinemas and screenings, reaching a dedicated audience and one of the most important documentary markets in Europe. It’s a very good start for the film, where we can say we’ve received numerous requests from festivals and overall interest,” Taskovski said.

The documentary’s market prospects take in the festival circuit and VOD platforms, plus sales to European broadcasters.

“Ultimina” marks the most recent pick-up by sales and production house Taskovski Films, a company recognized for representing award-winning non-fiction features and for the distribution of quality documentaries.

Taskovski handles rights to five more titles at this year’s IDFA edition, two of them – “Radiograph of a Family” and “War and Peace” – competing at the Feature-Length Documentary section.

Another IDFA world premiere, “Radiograph of a Family,” by Iranian helmer Firouzeh Khosrovani (“Fest of Duty”), is a Iran-Norway-Swiss co-production in which ZDF, Arte and RTS figure among TV channels already involved.

“Radiograph” portrays the story of Iran’s struggle between secularism and the Islamic ideology, rooted in the director’s family and their relationships.

Directed by Martina Parenti and Massimo D’Anolfi, “War and Peace” is a Rai Cinema co-production with Swiss TV, focused on the relationship between cinema and war, which world premiered at Venice Film Festival 2020 edition’s Orizzonti section.
Sold by Taskovski Films, Marie Dumora’s “Far From You I Grew,” which world premiered at L’Acid Cannes 2020, plays at the Luminous Selection.

Further titles at IDFA take in Best of Fests sidebar’s “Things We Dare Not Do,” by Mexico’s Bruno Santamaría, and Andrei Gryazev’s Russian production “The Foundation Pit.”

Even though it has been a very challenging year because of the pandemic, Taskovski Films has had a very strong 2020, being present with four titles in Berlinale, two in Cannes, one in Venice, two in Hot Docs, six in Jihlava, and now with six in IDFA.

“Always, and especially this year, we try to look at the positive side of what it brings. In terms of festivals and sales, new opportunities are evolving. Since unfortunately productions and shoots had a gap this year and buyers are in need of films, those finished projects can benefit from this demand,” Taskovski said.

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