Picomedia, Thalie Images, Rai Fiction and Beta partner on Elsa Morante’s ‘La Storia’

Munich/Rome, 30 June 2022. Continuing the successful partnership with Picomedia, Beta co-produces Italian period drama La Storia (8x50’), based on Elsa Morante’s bestselling novel. Shooting for the production has started in Rome under the helm of award-winning director Francesca Archibugi (Romanzo famigliare), before moving to Naples and Lazio later in the year.


The stellar cast is led by Jasmine Trinca (The Gunman), starring as Ida, a single mother of two sons, who hides her Jewish heritage and fights against poverty and persecution during the end of WWII and post-war Rome. Also starring are Asia Argento (xXx – Triple X), Elio Germano (Leopardi) and Valerio Mastandrea (Perfect Strangers).


The series adapts one of the most iconic and critically acclaimed novels of the 20th century, published in two dozen languages. Elsa Morante is a landmark figure of feminist literature and the literary role model of Italian star author Elena Ferrante, who stated in the New York Times 2014: “I try to learn from her books, but I find them unsurpassable,” calling her a “bewitching example."


Director Francesca Archibugi also serves as writer alongside Francesco Piccolo (My Brilliant Friend) as well as Giulia Calenda and Ilaria Macchia (both Petra – Death Rites). Primetime Emmy®-nominated Luca Bigazzi (The Great Beauty, Il Divo) will serve as DOP, set designer is Ludovica Ferrario (The Young Pope) and Catheruine Buyse (The New Pope, Spiderman - Far from Home) and Valentina Monticelli are responsible for costume design.


Roberto Sessa, producer Picomedia: "I want to thank Elsa Morante's heirs for believing in us and our project. Francesca Archibugi has brought together a fantastic cast to this extraordinary story to the screen. Special thanks to Francesco Piccolo, Giulia Calenda, and Ilaria Macchia, who wrote the screenplay together with Francesca Archibugi, for these three years of hard work."


Francesca Archibugi, director: "Adapting Elsa Morante's La Storia into a series is an endless joy and an immense responsibility. It is one of the great masterpieces of the twentieth century. The book that opened my eyes to what it should mean to tell a story.”


Maria Pia Ammirati, Head of Drama, Rai: "It was a simple decision to partner with Picomedia, Thalie Images and Beta for the production of a series based on Elsa Morante's La Storia. It is one of those novels that, while restoring atmosphere and spirit of an historical period - in this case World War II and the years following it - captures the tragedy of a human condition and delivers unforgettable characters and situations to literature and society. This density of content can only coincide with the values of fiction from a public broadcaster and is a promising basis for the start of a major production that, beginning with the direction by Francesca Archibugi and the performance of Jasmine Trinca, brings together professionalism and talent at the highest level of Italian audiovisual quality."


Dr. Ferdinand Dohna, EVP Content Beta: „Beta is proud and happy to join forces again with Rai Fiction and Roberto Sessa’s Picomedia, to bring a fresh adaptation led by A-list Italian talent of one of the most important European novels of the 20th century to a world-wide audience.“


La Storia is produced by Picomedia (Roberto Sessa), Thalie Images (Stéphane Moatti), in collaboration with Rai Fiction (Maria Pia Ammirati, Francesco Nardella, Francesca Tura, Daria Hensemberger) and in co-production with Beta (Koby Gal-Raday, Ferdinand Dohna). Beta Film handles world sales.


Beta and Picomedia share a long-time partnership. Their YA series The Sea Beyond coproduced with Rai Fiction recently celebrated extraordinary ratings success, gathering over 55 million views on pubcaster RAI’s streaming service RaiPlay and extraordinary linear ratings on Rai2 and now being ranked in the top three on Netflix in Italy.