Industry Report: European Film Commissions
LuCa, a startup that combines the resources of the Lucana and Calabrian film commissions
by Carolina Mancini - Cinema & Video International
- The Millioners, the debut short film, will be directed by Claudio Santamaria and produced by Gabriele Mainetti, who has already directed the actor in Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot [+see also:
interview: Gabriele Mainetti
film profile]. The two professionals are reuniting to work together and will shoot in October in Pollino National Park, located between Basilicata and Calabria.
“It's a project that comes from a nonbinding agreement to collaborate on specific projects that involve and can be created in the two regions," explains Paride Leporace, director of the Lucana Film Commission. For the next six months, which also coincide with the end of his term in office, he has agreed to collaborate (“free of charge,” he is quick to point out) with the development of the start up. The startup is also a renewal for the Calabria Film Commission, a rebranding for which the positive "‘driving force" of nearby Basilicata was key, as the President of the Calabria Film Commission, Giuseppe Citrigno, explains: “After a difficult period, we're starting from scratch thanks to the new regional President Mario Oliverio, who has undertaken a restoration, notably an economic one, putting new clothes on the old foundation. This new collaboration relies on Paride's vast experience, even though the two film commissions remain independent in administrative terms.”
According to Leporace, “Each one will continue under its own statutes, and in deciding to explore our common borders we will see how we work together with the respective funds. We have many neighboring areas, including these Pollino National Park, Europe's largest protected area managed by two regions. It is therefore significant that the first project backed by LuCa (with 20 thousand euros from each of the film commissions) will be filmed there. This is how we want to continue in the future, because in Italy projects often rely on on multiple regions, and two neighboring regions can collaborate.”
“I am happy to be shooting this short in a place that I love," says Claudio Santamaria, "I'll be working in Pollino National Park, between Calabria and Basilicata. It's an enchanting location and one that I am emotionally connected to.”
Meanwhile, Basilicata will continue going the international route, with “a plan to promote Lucano wine in the world through film. "We are planning on broadcasting the advertisement at the end of the year,” says Leporace.
Citrigno, a legendary Calabrian businessman, owner of three theaters in Cosenza (Citrigno, Modernissimo and San Nicola), regional president of ANEC Calabria and a member of the Ministry's film commission, has clear ideas: “The Film Commission will have to invest in the area and in human resources like a business. We have open spaces and all types of of scenery, a diverse territory, workers who continue to reform, a large number of hotel accommodations, a population that is very happy to welcome new productions and new sets and is very open to these kinds of experiences. We only needed a boost from of regional administrators.”
The Film Commission's new development will follow four different courses of action: training, promotion, fundraising and income: “This could be a driving force in creating wealth in the area, something which Calabria needs. It's the region with the highest unemployment rate in Italy and we cannot afford to lose even a single job. Because we don't have huge businesses or infrastructure, we have to live on agriculture, tourism and I hope, in a small part, on the Film Commission as well,” concludes Citrigno.
President Oliverio has appointed, among others, the Calabrian Mario Faure, Oscar winning director of photography for Avatar, as the committee chairman.
Stefania Ippoliti, the President of the Italian Film Commission, was present at the meeting in Venice and underlined the importance of this type of collaboration while wishing the project good luck.
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