Veteran Rome-based distribution and production exec Thomas J. Ciampa, who in June exited WarnerMedia where he was Italy, Spain and Portugal country manager, is joining prominent Italian producer Marco Belardi’s expanding Bamboo Production shingle as its chief of international operations.
Ciampa, who worked at Warner Bros. in Italy for 25 years in various guises, in January 2022 had replaced Barbara Salabè as the top WarnerMedia exec when she exited after three decades. But Ciampa was then replaced in June by Alessandro Araimo as part of the restructuring due to the Warner Bros. Discovery merger.
Ciampa’s responsibilities had included overall theatrical distribution for Warner Bros. as well as for Sony Pictures, which had a deal with Warner Bros. in Italy. However, Sony from 2023 will be releasing its titles in Italy via local indie Eagle Pictures, an indication of how the theatrical market is changing with studios shifting their priorities as streaming makes greater gains.
Additionally Ciampa managed local productions in Italy and Spain, as well as content licensing, games, home entertainment, consumer products, marketing as well as ad sales and affiliate distribution for WarnerMedia’s channels and streaming services.
Bamboo Production was launched earlier this year by Belardi, who formerly headed film and TV company Lotus Production, which besides producing Italian megahit “Perfect Strangers,” also spawned a steady stream of other hits such as Gabriele Muccino’s “There Is No Place Like Home,” which in 2018 pulled in more than $10 million locally, and has been spun off recently into a successful TV series for Sky. They have a multi-picture deal with Netflix to produce two or three still unspecified Italian original films for the streamer.
Leone Film Group in 2014 acquired a majority stake in Lotus, where Belardi remained in charge. But the rapport with Leone soured, so Belardi recently parted ways with them to set up Bamboo.
Ciampa will now play a key role in the development of all of Bamboo’s international projects, the first of which will be a previously announced high-profile TV series written and directed by Giuseppe Tornatore based on his Oscar-winning classic “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.”
“It is a great privilege to be part of the team at Bamboo. Marco is one of the most talented producers in Italy and I feel honored to support the company as it grows to become an important and dynamic international player,” said Ciampa.
Belardi commented: “It’s an honor for me to welcome Thomas in our team, a highly experienced and capable professional. We are certain that with his support, Bamboo will make a great leap forward in the international arena.”