Sky Italia has announced plans for a new channel that will screen the best of Italian cinema. The platform also plans an expansion of the number of HD channels.
Sky Cinema Italia will launch on July 31, the same date as rival DTH platform Tivù Sat is scheduled to get underway, though the satcaster insists the new channel was already in its roadmap. Its output will range from spaghetti westerns through to modern comedy, including the work of popular Italian directors like Federico Fellini and Giuseppe Tornatore.
The opening night will feature Il Gattopardo (The Leopard), regarded as a masterpiece, and not screened on Italian television since October 1996, subsequent to its restoration by the National Film Institute in Rome in 1991.
At a press briefing Nils Hartmann, Sky Italia’s director of film and entertainment channels, said the satcaster’s support of the Italian film industry was ongoing and included both investment in new movies and restoration of classic works.
Sky Italia will also expand its offer of HD channels. During the next weeks three new HD channels will be added and the satcaster targets to have 30 HD channels by 2010.