Sky Studios announces new Italian in-house production Blocco 181

Friday 22 May 2020

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Sky Studios today announces its latest in-house production Blocco 181 (working title). The new Sky original project will be developed with the multi-platinum musician and rapper Salmo and will be the first television project for the Italian rap artist.

Salmo will serve as creative and music producer of Blocco 181 and will also star in the series. The creative hub Red Joint Film – led by partners Paolo Vari and David Fischer - is collaborating with Sky Studios to develop the project.

As shown by the teaser released today, Blocco 181 will be set in the multi-ethnic communities on the outskirts of Milan, and will revolve around themes of love, generational conflicts, female emancipation and, above all, power struggles.

As a pioneer of Italian rap music, Salmo has played some of Europe’s most prestigious music festivals and venues. Last year, his sold-out “Playlist Tour 2019" saw him perform to over 220,000 people in Italy.

I’ve been meaning to experiment with my creativity in a different area for a while and now I am proud and can’t wait to start with this new original production by Sky Studios, with which we share innovative and bold goals.


Rapper and Creative & Music Producer, Blocco 181

As the first Italian artist to have eight songs enter Spotify's Global Chart, Salmo stormed the global music scene with Playlist, his hugely successful latest album, that confirmed his status as one of the most visionary and influential artists of his generation. By introducing elements of electronics and hardcore rap into his music, Salmo changed the face of rap in Italy.

Commenting on the project, Nicola Maccanico - Executive Vice President Programming Sky Italia, said: "We are delighted to welcome Salmo to the Sky family. He is an artist who has captured the hearts and minds of fans all over the world by reflecting the emotions of the contemporary world in his music. Salmo has a unique ability to fuse different languages, genres, textures and culture in his music, a skill that makes this collaboration with Sky so exciting. This project is born different; a collision of story-telling, music and the diverse cultures of our cities. Blocco 181 will invite viewers to look at modern-day Milan through new eyes and re-examine what it means to live in a globalized world where extremes co-exist. It’s an extremely topical, interesting and complex theme, which we look forward to bringing to screen."

Commenting on the project, Nils Hartmann, Director Original Production Sky Italia, said: "This partnership with Salmo confirms Sky Studios’ ambition to create fresh, thought-provoking and bold television with the most exciting new voices from across Europe and beyond, following on from our recent announcement of our first in-house project with the D’Innocenzo siblings. We are pleased that we have been chosen by a talented artist who knows that Sky Studios is the perfect hub to develop his powerful vision into something unique. Together, the in-house team at Sky Studios, Red Joint Film and Salmo will create a landmark Sky original series that explores Milan like never before. We can’t wait to get started".

Commenting on the project, Salmo said: "I have always thought of music as a way to go beyond: beyond the boundaries between genres, beyond stereotypes, even beyond music itself, which for me is not just about lyrics, notes and flow, but it already comes with images inside. I’ve been meaning to experiment with my creativity in a different area for a while and now I am proud and can’t wait to start with this new original production by Sky Studios, with which we share innovative and bold goals. With this series I would like to keep the bar high and go beyond, even while telling life in the suburbs, showing them for what they are, something that has always fascinated me, a multi-layered world that lacks nothing: chaos, vitality, power, weaknesses, conflicts, passion. All this generates wealth and energy, which are also the elements that will take this story beyond".

The series – currently being written and with filming due to start in 2021 – will be the latest Sky original project from Sky Studios in Italy and will be produced in-house by Nils Hartmann and his team.

Sky Studios recently announced its first Italian in-house production: a new series written and directed by Italian siblings Fabio and Damiano D'Innocenzo, who won the Silver Bear for best screenplay for “Favolacce” (Bad Tales) at the latest Berlin Film Festival.

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About Sky Studios

Sky Studios brings to screen unique stories from the very best talent in Europe.

We develop, produce and fund original drama, comedy and documentary for Sky’s 24m customers and beyond, with 52 scripted shows already in production. Building on the success of critically-acclaimed Sky originals including Emmy-winning Chernobyl, Bafta-winning Patrick Melrose and international hits Babylon Berlin and Riviera, Sky Studios is the new creative home of Sky originals, such as The Third Day with Jude Law, ZeroZeroZero from the makers of Gomorrah and The New Pope directed by Academy Award-winning director Paolo Sorrentino.

We’re an agile Studio, seeking out the best untold stories from new voices while working in creative partnership with today’s best writers, producers and on-screen talent to bring viewers stories they wouldn’t find anywhere else.

With commissioning talent and production capability across the UK, Germany and Italy, we understand local tastes across Europe better than anyone else and have plans to more than double our investment in original content by 2024, fully supported and backed by Comcast NBC Universal.

We’re also developing a new TV and movie studio, Sky Studios Elstree, which is expected to lead to the creation of over 2,000 new jobs and generate an additional £3 billion of production investment in UK creative sector in the first five years alone.

Sky Studios invests in the cultural economy and global production sector with equity stakes in nine production companies in the UK and the US, including Great British Bake-Off creator Love Productions, and the premiere reality crime producer in the US, Jupiter Entertainment, creator of long-running hit Snapped. Sky Studios has invested in high quality factual specialists Blast Films and True North Productions; entertainment and format expert Znak & Co (US & UK); natural history producer True to Nature; drama producers The Lighthouse and Longboat; and growth businesses Sugar Films, Chrysalis Vision, and Talos Films (US).

Sky Studios launched in June 2019. The senior leadership team is Chief Executive Officer Gary Davey, Chief Commercial Officer Jane Millichip, Chief Finance Officer Caroline Cooper, Director of Drama UK Cameron Roach, Director of Comedy UK Jon Mountague, Director Original Production Sky Italia Nils Hartmann, and Director Original Productions Sky Deutschland Marcus Ammon.

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