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In Berlin with two films in the official competition

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Christiana Wertz • BLS Südtirol Alto Adige

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- Cineuropa spoke to Christiana Wertz, since 2009 head of the Film Fund & Commission, about the outcome for 2014 and a focus on new goals for the future

Christiana Wertz  • BLS Südtirol Alto Adige

The BLS will be present at the European Film Market of the 65th Berlinale from 5 to 15 February 2015, alongside the other Italian Film Commissions, at the Italian Pavilion of Martin Gropius Bau, to meet producers interested in filming features, documentaries or TV series in the region.

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Cineuropa: Let’s start with the news received in the last few days from Berlin: 2 films backed by the BLS and filmed in South Tyrol will be screened at the 65th Berlinale.
Christiana Wertz: Exactly. The Festival has made official the participation of Sworn Virgin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
Q&A: Laura Bispuri
film profile
]
 by Laura Bispuri and of Elser (13 Minutes) [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Oliver Hirschbiegel, both in the Competition section. The former is the only Italian movie competing for the Golden Bear; the latter is a German co-production, screened in the Festival’s official competition but out of competition. Obviously we’re delighted that two projects financed by our Film Commission and directed in part in South Tyrol have been selected at such an important festival.

How was 2014 for the BLS?
It’s safe to say that South Tyrol proved itself again in 2014 as a territory that’s highly valued by film and TV productions. Compared to previous years there was an increase in both productions (financed and not financed) that were filmed in the region, and overall filming days, which in 2014 exceeded 600. The Productions Fund, with 5 million euro confirmed once again for 2015, provided, in the last 12 months, support to 24 TV and film productions. As for important productions that came to South Tyrol in 2014, I can cite for example the Italian-French co-production by Indiana Production with Rai Cinema and 247 Films for production by Alaska, the new movie by Claudio Cupellini with Elio Germano and Alba Rohrwacher and The Way of the Eagle, directed by Gerardo Olivares with Tobias Moretti and Jean Réno and produced by Austrian Terra Mater Factual Studio.

Some of the movies and documentaries supported by the BLS in 2014 won big awards.
Indeed! One example is the Cannes Festival, where two films that we backed were included in the line-up: Clouds of Sils Maria [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Charles Gillibert
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile
]
 by Olivier Assayas, in the Official Competition, and Force Majeure [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ruben Östlund
film profile
]
, winner of the Jury Prize in the Un Certain Regard section. The latter also earned a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, as well as being included in the short list of Oscars for said category. Another 2014 hit was The Dark Valley [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a film by Andreas Prochaska that participated in the 2014 Berlinale, won two EFAs for Best Costume and Best Set Design and took home 8 Deutscher Filmpreis, the German Cinema Oscars.

News and plans for the future?
Giuseppe Tornatore will come to South Tyrol very soon to film La corrispondenza (Paco Cinematografica),his new film that will bring Blake Lively and Jeremy Irons to the region. Then there’s the Italian-French co-production (Mir Cinematografica and Aeternam FilmsBianco, a film by Daniele Vicari with Elio Germano and Luca Argentero and Fräulein, debut work by  Caterina Carone (winner of the first edition of RACCONTI) and starring Christian De Sica and Lucia Mascino. One of our goals for 2015 is to continue creating incentives for co-productions between Italy and German-speaking countries; in that regard we’re delighted with the establishment of the new Italy – Germany development fund announced by the Federal Film Board and by the Ministry for Culture.

(Translated from Italian)

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