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The new Italian “Film Law” sparks debate


- In the first week of April, the Minister for Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini, will meet with industry representatives awaiting final implementing decrees

The new Italian “Film Law” sparks debate
Italian Minister for Cultural Heritage Dario Franceschini

The bill for film and audiovisual works launched by the Minister for Cultural Heritage, Dario Franceschini, is currently being discussed by the Italian parliament. In the first week of April the Minister will meet with representatives from the film industry who are calling for an acceleration of the parliamentary debate of  the text and are waiting to see the final implementing decrees.

During the V International Meeting of Independent Cinema, which was held in Matera this month, the Director General for Cinema of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, Nicola Borrelli, explained the principles behind the law, which aims to stabilise resources for the industry, giving more certainty to operators, who will be able to count on funding of over €400 million a year. Borrelli explained that to support the industry, the law will make use of fiscal instruments and a system of automated mechanisms to replace the current discretional mechanism for awarding public funding.

Andrea Occhipinti, the president of the Distributors section of ANICA, turned the focus onto the implementing decrees that will help us to understand, for example, how tax credits will be awarded and how operators will be able to access funding, highlighting that companies need certainties on how to operate.

The bill has been praised by Martha Capello, president of the AGPCI – the Association of Young Independent Film Producers, which organised the meeting in Matera with FICE and ANEC. Capello highlighted that the government has taken heed of the requests of young producers, for example making useful changes to some of the mechanisms for obtaining tax credits.

Giulio Dilonardo, the vice-president of ANEC, the Italian National Association of Film Exhibitors, praised the consideration of cinemas and resources for re-opening cinemas, pointing out that whilst taking into consideration that the bill will take a long time to take effect, we mustn’t lose sight of the present and what we can do for cinemas straight away, ie exempting operators from paying IMU (municipal property tax) and issuing decrees for tax credits for restructuring theatres in application of the stability law. Domenico Dinoia, the president of FICE – the Italian Federation of Arthouse Cinema, did however point out the need for specific measures for arthouse cinemas, to which the current measures on the table make no reference. These are cinemas that have the merit of offering quality films that audiences would find it difficult to see elsewhere.

(Translated from Italian)

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