All3Media International Reveals Broadcast Partners for The Gymnasts


All3Media International has unveiled the lead broadcast partners for Indigo Film’s The Gymnasts, based on Ilaria Bernardini’s best-selling novel Corpo Libero.

The coming-of-age thriller series will premiere exclusively on Paramount+ in Italy, France, the U.K., Canada, Australia, Latin America and South Korea later this year. Rai Fiction (Italy) is also a lead partner, as is ZDFneo (Germany).

The Gymnasts centers on a team of elite teenage athletes as they compete at an international tournament high up in the Italian mountains. Many of them have spent their entire lives dreaming of the competition and would do anything to win, so when one competitor turns up dead, the police suspect murder.

The series, co-produced with Network Movie, is directed by Cosima Spender (Palio, SanPa: Sins of the Savior) and Valerio Bonelli (SanPa: Sins of the Savior, Philomena, Darkest Hour, The Martian, Black Mirror). The writing team includes Chiara Barzini (Arianna), Bernardini, Ludovica Rampoldi (Exterior Night, The Traitor, Gomorrah) and Giordana Mari (1993).

A translated version of the Italian novel is set to be published in the U.K. under the title The Girls are Good in August 2022 and in the U.S. and Canada in 2023. A new edition will be released in Italy during the week of the series premiere.

“We were attracted by the closed world of competitive gymnastics so evocatively described in this series,” said directors Spender and Bonelli. “It was both an entertaining and stirring story. Each character described manifests a reaction to the pressures of the sport, which often pushes the dynamics between them to a toxic realm. The theme of the adolescent changing body through the lens of a thriller fascinated us.”

Carlotta Calori, Francesca Cima and Nicola Giuliano of Indigo Film, added, “We are very proud to be in production with Corpo Libero. It’s a project that has taken shape thanks to the passion of talented screenwriters able to draw us into the world of gymnastics and teen drama within the framework of a thriller. Our protagonists are in that delicate moment of their lives in which the dividing line between childhood and adolescence is paper-thin, especially for a gymnast who knows well that growing up means an end to flying and perceives their body as a cage. Cosima and Valerio’s direction is helping us explore the border between healthy competition and the desire to win at all costs, portraying sports and teen dynamics without abandoning the adrenaline of the genre. A unique project made possible thanks to the precious support of all our partners who have allowed us to produce it just the way we had imagined it.”

Maria Pia Ammirati, head of Rai Fiction, added, “The Gymnasts is a series that together with ZDFneo and within the framework of the European Alliance unites Rai to Indigo Film, Network Movie, All3Media and the new Paramount+ platform. We are proud to cooperate on a new series that confirms what Italy can really give to an international project. A thriller and coming-of-age story set in the world of sport and based on Ilaria Bernardini’s successful novel Corpo Libero, with the landscape of our mountains in the background and the excellence of our professionalism. And because of this, I would like to express the satisfaction for an all-Italian and all-female writing team, which alongside the author of the novel includes Chiara Barzini, Ludovica Rampoldi and Giordana Mari.”

Dr. Simone Emmelius, senior VP of international fiction, co-production and acquisition at ZDF, added, “We are proud to team up with our prestigious partners and friends to present The Gymnasts as a ‘neoriginal’ on ZDFneo. The Gymnasts proves once more that Europe is a true melting pot, a young and exciting continent with a lot of extraordinary stories to be told. No wonder it is a project developed and commissioned by the European Alliance.”

Bettina Wente, producer at Network Movie, said, “We are grateful to be part of this project that takes place in Italy but has what it needs to travel around the globe as it deals with what it means to be a teenager in the 21st century, searching for love and recognition.”

Stephen Driscoll, executive VP of EMEA and European co-productions at All3Media International, added, “We’re very pleased to be part of such a prestigious broadcast partnership on board for our latest project with Indigo Film, who has assembled an incredible lineup of talent to adapt this critically acclaimed book into a gripping six-part thriller. The Gymnasts has attracted much interest from the international broadcast community and is sure to be a must-see for international audiences.”