Country Focus: Italy
Italy - The Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Fund and Salento Film Fund (March 2005)
by Camillo De Marco
16/03/2005 - The first Italian film fund
In 2003, the first Italian film fund was created. What happened is, Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission used the 2003 Regional Financial Law to create a proper regional film and TV fund. The budget, renewed every three years, consists in 350,000 per year to support productions shooting in the Friuli Venezia Giulia.
Grants vary depending on the time spent in the region : for a seven-week or more session, productions are given up to €120,000 ; for five weeks minimum, they receive €50,000 ; for three weeks, they get €20,000 ; and productions which stay at least a week are granted €5,000.
‘The examples we followed to create this fund were Rotterdam, the Wallonie in Belgium, and the Isle of Man Film,’ president Federico Poillucci explains. ‘The results are very encouraging, especially on an economic point of view, for productions use and stimulate the local structures and staff.’ 2004 has been a good year indeed : 18 productions were made, all categories included (film, TV fiction, documentary, short-films, and videoclips) and required 399 working days —235 of which were actually spent shooting—, 8649 bookings at local hotels, 162 local professionals, over 3,000 walk-on parts, and most of all €4M spent in Friuli Venezia Giulia. In absolute value, the total economic benefit to the region amounts to nearly €7.5M.
Supported projects :
The first projects the fund has chosen to support this year are : a German fiction adapted from Veit Heinichen’s first novel (Morti sul Carso) and produced by the German leader in the TV industry, Trebitsch Film Production (120,000 euros), and 3 feature films which received 50,000 euros each — Voices in the Dark by Rodolfo Bisatti (The Society Pord.), Riparo by Marco Simon Puccioni (Intelfilm Srl), and Il giorno + bello by Massimo Cappelli (Nuvola Film).
In 2004, the regional fund supported Gorgomeesh (50,000 euros), an international co-production directed by Nara Hoppe (USA) starring Maya Sansa and Miki Manojlovic, Sound Track (50,000 euros), written and directed by Francesca Marra, Tartarughe sul dorso (20,000 euros) by Stefano Pasetto, and the documentaries Monicelli e la Grande Guerra (5,000 euros) by Gloria D’Antoni and Monologhi del desiderio (5,000 euros) by Serafino Murri and Vincenzo Cerami. In terms of TV fiction, some money was granted to Un caso di coscienza 2 (120,000 euros) by Luigi Perelli for Rai Uno, and Ultimo rigore 2 (50,000 euros) by Sergio Martino.
The Salento Film Fund, a swallow sometimes makes a summer
Although the Salento Film Fund is a only a provincial fund, it is a real gem in the Italian cinema landscape. The fund was created at the beginning of the year in Lecce (Puglia); it consists in 600,000 euros used as a direct financial support to the production, distribution, and promotion of films and TV programmes. Priority goes to coproductions involving companies based in other regions. What is taken into consideration is how much a production shot in Salento spends on hiring local staff.
The beneficiaries of the new fund can either be production companies based in the Province of Lecce, production companies which intend to spend a significant amount of time filming within the Province of Lecce and would hire local professionals, or production companies which bring projects co-produced by at least one company from the Province of Lecce.
Grants are divided into two parts : 55% of the grant is a free contribution, the other 45% are repayable over five years, without interests. By no means can a grant represent more than 30% of the total budget of the film if it is a feature, and 50% if it is a short or a documentary. The grant cannot exceed 100,000 euros for full-length features, 30,000 for documentaries, and 20,000 for short films.
Deadlines for this year’s applications have already been established : the first one was scheduled for June 30, and the second is on October 30, 2005.
‘This fund was designed to attract external partners, but it is mostly a means of encouraging the emerging local film and TV production activities,’ director Luigi De Luca explained. ‘There are no conditions to apply, but we will definitely privilege projects which emphasize the importance of the Province of Lecce in the Mediterranean area and support the "Euro-Mediterranean" relationships’.
Info: Giuseppe Bianco : Tel. +39 0832 683226, email@example.com