Cecchi Gori looks to unload film rights


Italy's beleaguered Cecchi Gori Group announced Wednesday it is looking to sell the Italian rights to as many as 1,000 films in order to raise some €5 million ($6.7 million) in operating cash.

The company's Finmavi distribution subsidiary declared bankruptcy in October and is in the midst of a reorganization that management says will help make it a viable distributor and filmmaker in the future.

The first group of titles for sale will include 138 films but the company said it expects to sell the rights to about 1,000 films by Jan. 24.

Titles being shopped include the entire series of James Bond films, excluding the soon-to-be-released "Casino Royal," as well as a number of films from iconic Italian director Franco Zeffirelli, best known for bringing such classic plays and operas as "Romeo and Juliet," "La Traviata" and "Hamlet" to the silver screen.