31 OCT 2023

Publispei, from Italian hits to global stories

The Italian production company has known adapted to the dynamic changes in the audiovisual industry. Verdiana Bixio, Publispei Owner and CEO and daughter of the founder, explains the evolution of the company and highlights its projects with more global appeal.

31 OCT 2023

Verdiana Bixio

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Publispei is an Italian independent production company with a long trajectory in the country and with strong IP's that can resonate worldwide. Very well known for being the first to bring long-running series in Italy like "I Cesaroni", "Un Medico in Famiglia", "Tutti Pazzi per Amore", the company was founded in 1972 and in 1980 Carlo Andrea Bixio became partner of the company. "I started working with him when in Italy there were only two channels, the public television Rai and the private television Mediaset," described Verdiana Bixio, Publispei Owner and CEO and Carlo Bixio's daughter. "We used to produce long-running series of 26 episodes per season. Nowadays, we produce between 8 and 10 episodes per season, the market is completely different," she admitted.

As independent producer, for Publispei is important to keep the rights of their projects. "We basically co-produce with the channels, but as the market is quite in movement, every day we can create a new kind of business model with them," she said. Recently, Publispei has placed "Yet We Fall Happy" (“Eppure Cadiamo Felici”), on Rai Play. The 8x30' young adult series, freely inspired by Enrico Galiano's novel, it’s a story of adolescence, complicated as it is the tumultuous life of a 16-year-old girl. "We were completely in love with this novel, because it is a very sweet story" admitted Bixio. "The main characters are teenagers pertaining all problems of that delicate and complicated age, but also we want to describe their fragility, the first love, it has a really nice encouraging message for teenagers" she confirmed.

Another attractive Publispei IP is "Flowers Over Inferno" (“Fiori sopra l'Inferno”) that was broadcast on Rai1 last year, achieving an average share of 25% with 4.5mln viewers. The crime thriller (6x50’) is focused on the strong character of profiler Teresa Battaglia, chief officer of the police unit in a small community in the Friulian Dolomites, that was brutally shocked by a serial killer. "We will start shooting the second season of 'Flowers over the Inferno' untitled 'Sleeping Nymph", she anticipated.

Publispei also announced for the global market the erotic Thriller film "The Perfect Wife" based on Roberto Costantini novel "La moglie perfetta". "He is one of our great thrillers and crime writers and this book is one of the best-sellers for the female public," commented Bixio. "The story was strong and catching but in script I wanted to improve the erotic aspects of it, in order to make feel to the audience all the characters’ erotic tension" she confessed.

Publispei recently attended 2023 MIA/Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo in Rome and MIPCOM in Cannes. "Those markets are slightly different: MIA is focused on panels about the market on scripted, unscripted, animation and the relevant discussions allow us to have a better idea of the national and international market. During MIA, you have the chance to organize meetings inside or close by Palazzo Barberini. Instead, in MIPCOM, we develop our international co-production and international agreements. We have a closer interaction with international distributors; for example, during this market we sold to ZDF Enterprise our preview crime series 'Redemption' ('Io ti cercherò') that it was broadcasted on Roku and Channel 4". Also, Bixio, continued. “This year we signed deals for the international sales of our latest TV Series “Flowers Over the Inferno” ("Fiori sopra l’inferno") and “Yet We Fall Happy” ("Eppure cadiamo felici") with Onza, Mondo TV and Wild Bunch.”

Thinking on the next year, Publispei is developing new stories, new series with Rai and Mediaset and it is currently speaking with Netflix for a new rom-com. "Publispei has an editorial department that is constantly scouting for new IP, scripts and formats, but also develops many original stories. Thanks to our extremely skilled team and our close relationship with all the Italian publishers, we are developing a brand-new book from the scratch" she explained.

“Since November 2022 we expanded or footprints in the USA, and every two months we are in Los Angeles to consolidate our new partnership with producers, broadcasters, talent agencies and managers, in order to develop always new 'glocal' products for international audience, the best is yet to come” concludes Bixio.