Luigi Cuciniello • President of ANEC
by Camillo De Marco
- Cineuropa met up with Luigi Cuciniello, the president of ANEC (The Italian National Association of Film Exhibitors)
The existence of so many different media is not an enemy to Luigi Cuciniello, the president of the Italian National Association of Film Exhibitors. “Even if we’re still not in a position to fully evaluate its impact on the economy or the industry, the fact that there are so many platforms out there is a sign of development, on which to reflect and use to adapt the films we make”.
Cineuropa: But the history of the media goes against new models of consumption.
Luigi Cuciniello: It’s all connected: timing, how people watch content, prices and what’s on offer. There’s no a priori way of guarding against illegal streaming. It must be clear that if a work is made available at different times, in different ways and to different audiences, it must have a price that matches what’s being offered.
Did Italian cinemas moving over to digital lead to more profitable programming?
The programme offered in film theatres has expanded greatly, because people now have the option of seeing concerts, operas and sporting events. Proportionate alternative content has really taken off, after initially creating a bit of confusion. The public is now aware of the new diversified offering, and the results are increasingly positive.
Digitalisation required a lot of work and commitment. How do you ask the State to contribute?
Investing in digitalisation has fallen almost entirely on the shoulders of operators. Part of the investment was recovered with the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) model following a rather innovative agreement made with the distribution and production sectors. Most Italian cinemas have faced radical change with limited resources, also from an organisational point of view, how they manage their staff and programming. There are a lot of unfair local taxes that weigh on cinemas, so we’re asking the government to pay closer attention. We’re waiting for the system to be reformed, and we believe that investments in cinemas have been penalised as a result. Without a network of strong cinemas we can’t have a strong Italian film industry, and the socio-cultural aspect of the sector will be weakened across the country.
You recently highlighted that the Italian share of the market has decreased.
The digital revolution has also made it easier to produce works, both in terms of time and cost. We have an increasingly rich offer of films, although the amount being invested in them is also increasingly low. We believe that we need to work on the quality of the films being made, without forgetting to do more to balance out the genres: 90% of the films that are made are comedies.
(Translated from Italian)