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Brussels approves aid for digitalisation of cinema theatres


- The move was announced yesterday by Luigi Cuciniello, president of ANEC, in Sorrento at Professional Days. Heads of cinema associations united on the issue of summer releases

Brussels approves aid for digitalisation of cinema theatres

The European Commission has authorised aid for the digitalisation of cinema theatres. Closing the formal investigation begun in 2008, Brussels gave a favourable opinion by approving the law that introduced the tax credit in Italy to promote cinema exhibition in the move to digital.

Announced yesterday, 2 December, by Luigi Cuciniello, president of ANEC, the national association of cinema operators, at the Cinema Professional Days that are taking place in Sorrento. Cuciniello underlined the political importance of this decision. “It’s the first time," he explained, "that the European Commission is dealing with cinema from the operators’ point of view. No other country, before Italy, had worked with Brussels on the issue."

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Pending the Commission’s opinion, up to now digitalisation had been carried forward through a “de minimis” decree, thus with tax credit ceilings applicable. “The adoption of this law," explained Cuciniello, "will bring real and immediate benefits, including tax incentives, simpler proceedings, for the whole industry, with particular attention paid to one or two screen cinema theatres”.

Today in Sorrento, the heads of ANICA Distributors and Producers sections, Andrea Occhipinti and Francesca Cima, also spoke, as did the head of ANEM, association of multiplex operators, Carlo Bernaschi. They all called attention to one of the main market problems: succeeding in providing an adequate supply of films all year round. "We are studying, together with other industry associations, incentives that promote more film releases during summer", said Occhipinti. "At the same time we must work on an audience campaign to promote cinema in the summer. Solving this problem will be extremely important for the market and could even lead to an increase in attendance of 15%."

(Translated from Italian)

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