The move is great news not only for Italy's contemporary film industry but also for speakers and learners of Italian.
“Our belief is that great storytelling transcends borders,” Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos said at an event in Rome on Wednesday, outlining plans for ten new European projects for 2018, two of them Italian.
“Our next Stranger Things could come from anywhere in the world,” Sarandos added, referring to the science fiction series now in its third season, which has become a global phenomenon and won numerous awards.
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Among the ten projects announced for this year were an Italian original film and TV series.
The film Rimetti A Noi I Nostri Debiti (Forgive Us Our Debts) follows the story of a man who works for a debt collector. Watch the trailer below for a taste of the drama, which will launch on Netflix on May 5th.
And the original series Luna Nera (Black Moon) is set in the 17th century and is about women who are suspected of witchcraft, one of whom is forced to flee her village because of the accusations.
Netflix representatives said they had looked for a project which didn't explore stereotypically 'Italian' themes such as the mafia, politics, and religion. The first Italian original series on Netflix was Suburra, an American-Italian crime drama about corruption in Rome and the Vatican, and earlier this year they announced a docu-series following football champions Juventus.
The other European projects coming to Netflix in 2018 include a Dutch series about a group of young people who accidentally open a portal to a demonic world, a British series by Downton Abbey's creator about the invention of football, and a French documentary about one of the country's most famous cold cases.
At the Rome event, Netflix also announced details about further European projects in the works, including another Italian series. Baby, directed by Andrea de Sica and Anna Negri, will tell a story loosely based on a teen prostitution ring in an upmarket district of Rome. Production started on the series last week.
Netflix launched in Italy in 2015, and although it hasn't made public the number of subscribers in individual countries, an estimate from EY put the figure at 800,000 late last year.