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CANNES 2018 Market

Paolo Del Brocco • Managing director, Rai Cinema

“The international success of a film lies in its visibility”

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- We spoke to Paolo Del Brocco, the managing director of Rai Cinema, which boasts seven films at the Cannes Film Festival: "There is a lot of talent in Italian cinema and it's very well-respected"

Paolo Del Brocco • Managing director, Rai Cinema

Numerous films co-produced by Rai Cinema have been selected for this year’s Cannes Film Festival, such as Dogman [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile
]
, by Matteo Garrone and Happy as Lazzaro [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Alice Rohrwacher
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]
by Alice Rohrwacher, which are both in Competition, Euphoria [+see also:
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]
by Valeria Golino in the Un Certain Regard section, the opening film, Everybody Knows [+see also:
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by Asghar Farhadi, which is also in the running for the Palme d’Or, Samouni Road [+see also:
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interview: Stefano Savona
film profile
]
by Stefano Savona and Lucia's Grace [+see also:
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trailer
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]
by Gianni Zanasi at the Directors' Fortnight, accompanied by the short film La lotta by Marco Bellocchio, while in the Cinéfondation section there’s also Così in Terra by Pier Lorenzo Pisano. “Dogman, Happy as Lazzaro, Euphoria. Three very different films with entirely personal and defined styles,” states Paolo Del Brocco, managing director of Rai Cinema, “by three directors who are very dear to Cannes Film Festival.”

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Cineuropa: Roberto Cicutto, president of the Istituto Luce Cinecittà, mentioned that the gender and genre equality of the Italian films selected for Cannes is “natural,” and not due to any specific vetting process.
Paolo Del Brocco:
That’s right. In recent years we have had some very important participants at Cannes, however, the rich presence of women at the festival is both wonderful and gratifying for us. Over the past three of four years we have changed our editorial line. Before, we only ever had two genres, popular film and classic, auteur film. Recently, however, we’ve attempted to guide directors towards different stories that satisfy the tastes of a more diverse audience, and we have also been encouraging young directors to make a new type of cinema that mixes genres and is more documentary in style, and I must say that thanks to a lot of enlightened producers, we have found quite a few new directors. One name in particular stands out, Jonas Carpignano, who was chosen to represent Italy in the Oscar race. We are reaping the fruits of a diverse production policy, because we feel that we have a certain increased sense of “responsibility,” viewing what we do as a public service, more so perhaps than other major Italian players in the market. The positive results are evident. Just take a look at the David di Donatello winners for example – Italy’s most prestigious awards ceremony – nineteen trophies and Rai Cinema’s contribution to the production of the five films entered in a row in the Best Film and Best Producer categories. Such a diverse presence at Cannes Film Festival fills us with pride, as it does in festivals all over the world, where we’ve been making an impression for a few years now. The thing that gives us the most satisfaction is the positive reception of what we call “real cinema.” Over the last three years, we’ve produced 130 feature-length documentaries, supporting directors such as Roberto Minervini and Pietro Marcello.

And the documentary Samouni Road by Stefano Savona has also been selected at Cannes, which includes animations by Simone Massi, author of five of Venice Film Festival’s themes.
It’s a very powerful and brilliant experiment. This type of cinema takes you on a journey back to a certain kind of truth and reality that fiction films can only achieve up to a certain point.

However, not all of these films have guaranteed distribution, which continues to prove rather difficult.
We distribute 20 to 25 Italian fiction films a year with 01 Distribution, out of about 70 to 80 titles that have funding. We can’t do any more than that. But there’s an entirely different sales policy for documentaries. There are some distributors that specialise in the documentary genre and use different circuits. We would risk not being the most suited to distribute them. The same goes for certain fiction films. This year, I forced people’s hands a bit compared to last year, take Daughter of Mine [+see also:
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interview: Laura Bispuri
film profile
]
by Laura Bispuri for example, selected in competition at the 2018 Berlinale and released in cinemas at the end of February. But while our mission is to feed the industry, help it to grow, discover new talents and create new job opportunities, 01 Distribution is really the sales division. The majority of films that it distributes are of a really good quality – Bellocchio, Martone – but it also gets a few popular comedies into cinemas, as well as a few American films, whose takings can be reinvested. The important thing is to bring the product to the audience, whether it’s a large or small audience. I have increasingly positive data for documentaries regarding televisual scheduling on Rai’s networks.

Rai Com will be taking a few films funded by you to Cannes Film Market, such as Love and Bullets [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marco and Antonio Manetti
film profile
]
, Cinderella the Cat [+see also:
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interview: Alessandro Rak
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]
, Dogman. Happy as Lazzaro and Lucia’s Grace, which were sold by The Match Factory. True Colours has Euphoria in its line-up. What is the international appeal of these films?
The debate about creating “cinema for everyone” is also valid abroad. For me, the international success of a quality film depends on the amount of visibility it gets. Garrone, for example, is very well loved, he has had the same European co-producers and distributors for a number of years, even if not all of his films have had a lot of commercial success. It’s about believing in a director’s talent, supporting them and distributing their films. We don’t expect Italian cinema to do very well in international box offices. It’s a problem that concerns all European cinema, with the exception of a few French films. I’m not talking about directors such as Nanni Moretti or Paolo Sorrentino, I’m talking about young talent, such as the Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo brothers, whose first film, Boys Cry [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Damiano and Fabio D’Innocenzo
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]
, was included on Match Factory’s distribution list. Films that definitely aspire to international distribution, even if somewhat limited, as well as visibility on festival circuits. There is a lot of talent in Italian cinema and it’s very well-respected, above all for those who are involved in the European industry system.

(Translated from Italian)

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