'Pranzo' sees brisk post-festival sales

Film won Venice prize, screened at Toronto

ROME -- "Pranzo di Ferragosto" (Mid-August Lunch), the directorial debut of screenwriter Gianni Di Gregorio, has been selling briskly in the wake of the Venice and Toronto festivals, the film's producers said Tuesday.

Thus far, the film, which centers on a middle-aged man's struggles to deal with his overbearing widowed mother and four of her elderly friends, has sold in five European territories: Austria (to Filmladen), Benelux (Cinemien), France (Le Pacte), Germany (Pandora) and Switzerland (Xenix).

The producers, who said more deals are in the works, said most of the interest was sparked in Venice, where the film won the Venice Film Festival's prize for best first film, with the deals closing days later in Toronto.

Di Gregorio made a name for himself as the co-writer of Matteo Garrone's mafia drama "Gomorrah," which won the Grand Prix at this year's Festival de Cannes.