There’s Still Tomorrow (C’è Ancora Domani), the surprise box office hit that has taken Italian cinemas by storm, has become a global sales hit as well, with international distributors snatching up the historic dramedy from actress-turned-director Paola Cortellesi.

The black-and-white feature is set in Rome in 1946, a few days before the referendum to determine whether women will get the vote. Cortellesi stars as Delia, a woman suffering from domestic abuse who longs for emancipation — both for herself and her daughter. Valerio Mastandrea, Emanuela Fanelli, Vinicio Marchioni, Giorgio Colangeli and Romana Maggiora Vergano co-star.

Vision Distribution, which is handling international sales for There’s Still Tomorrow, tells THR Roma they have closed deals for the movie for 18 countries across three continents, including with Limelight for Australia and New Zealand, Providence Filmes — Pandora for Brazil — Swallow Wings Films in Taiwan and Lev Cinema in Israel. The film has nearly sold out in Europe, with Universal Pictures taking it in France, BTeam Pictures in Spain and Art Film for the Netherlands. Buyers in Denmark (Future Film), Sweden (Folkets Bio), Belgium (Arti Film), Greece (Weird Wave), Hungary (Mozinet), Switzerland (Morandini Film Distribution) and Finland and Norway (Future Film ) all jumped on the historic feature, whose combination of comedy and romance against the grim post-WW2 setting has Cortellesi dubbing it “pink neorealism.”

“We knew we had a strong story on our hands, with an original cinematic style and vision,” says Catia Rossi, head of international sales at Vision Distribution. “[It’s] a universal story that finds resonance with non-Italians as well.”

Israeli buyer Lev Cinema picked up There’s Still Tomorrow following its screening at the Haifa festival when, Rossi says, “his 90-year-old mother, who was in the audience at the end of the screening, and with people still applauding, called her son and told him he had to buy it at all costs.”

There’s Still Tomorrow, which opened this year’s Rome Film Festival, is already the most successful Italian title of the year, with a box office of 18.9 million euros ($20.6 million) and counting. Vision produced together with Fremantle-owned Italian company Wildside, in collaboration with Netflix and Sky Italia. Vision is fielding interest from several U.S. distributors for the title.

Scott Roxborough

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