‘This is Not Hollywood — Avetrana’: Disney+ Puts Italian True Crime Drama Series Into Production

Disney+ has put Italian true crime drama This is Not Hollywood — Avetrana into production in Puglia.

The four-part series (original title Avetrana – Qui non è Hollywood) is based on the true story of the death Sarah Scazzi and the massive media response. Each 80-minute episode takes point of view of one of the story’s main protagonists — Sarah, Sabrina, Michele and Cosima, who are played by Federica Pala, Giulia Perulli, Paolo De Vita and Vanessa Scalera, respectively.

Imma Villa, Anna Ferzetti and Giancarlo Commare have also been cast for key roles in the show, which is based on Carmine Gazzanni and Flavia Piccinni’s book ‘Sarah: La Ragazza di Avetrana.’

The series’ synopsis reads: “On August 26, 2010, in Avetrana, a small town on the edge of the holiday destination Salento, a young girl leaves home never to return. Her name is Sarah Scazzi, she is 15. The whole town is in turmoil, especially her cousin Sabrina, a beautician who is waiting for her in her house in Via Deledda to go to the beach later that afternoon. But while everyone is looking for her, Sarah has disappeared into the void, buried at the bottom of a well where she will be found 42 days after her disappearance, in what will become a real life horror show with intimate secrets and unspoken grudges.”

Pippo Mezzapesa is directing. He wrote the screenplay along with Antonella Gaeta and Davide Serino in collaboration with Flavia Piccinni and Carmine Gazzanni. Fremantle-owned Groenlandia is producing.

The production comes as Italian production continues to heat up. Disney’s International Content and Operations team plans to create 60 local productions in the EMEA region by 2024 but is under pressure from new rivals such as Paramount+, which launches today with a suite of original shows.

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