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“With this new initiative, we offer collaboration with foreign productions in Italy”

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

Giovanni Esposito • Member of the board of directors, AIR3 Associazione Italiana Registi


The directors' network, together with the Italian Film Commissions, offers the possibility of hiring an Italian director in the area

Giovanni Esposito  • Member of the board of directors, AIR3 Associazione Italiana 
 - Registi

Foreign investments in the cinema and audiovisual industry are increasing more and more in Italy. According to the report of the Research Department of the Direzione Generale Cinema e Audiovisivo del MiC, recently presented at the MIA – International Audiovisual Market (read the news), international production companies invested in Italy more in 2022 alone than during the whole of the 2016-2021 period. International cinema and audiovisual productions which have benefited from the foreign tax credit in 2022 in fact rose to 75 (against 43 in 2021) and have generated overall investments of around € 845 millions.

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During the last Venice Film Festival, AIR3 Associazione Italiana Registi launched together with the IFC Italian Film Commissions the initiative “Filming in Italy? Engage an Italian director!”, aimed at foreign directors and production companies that want to shoot in Italy, for location research and the hiring of an Italian director for co-production and local support. We asked Giovanni Esposito, director, member of the Board of Directors for AIR3 and promoter of the initiative, to tell us more.

Cineuropa: AIR3 offers the possibility to hire an Italian director on the territory. What does it involve exactly
Giovanni Esposito: In the last few years, thanks again to various tax breaks put in action by the Cinema Law and the Tax Credit (the tax credit for production companies), we’ve seen a great flow of foreign productions that came to shoot in our country. An important value, both on an economic and cultural level. We therefore thought of offering these productions our “creative support,” creating an ad hoc communication channel which allows them to easily enter in contact with us Italian directors, who shoot on the territory daily. We chose the occasion of the 80th Venice Film Festival to present our initiative. 

Foreign productions and professionals interested in filming in our country can now write to to be put in direct contact with all our Italian directors subscribed to the organisation. We can share our contacts and our experience on the field and, from a creative point of view, our knowledge, our professionalism and our art in the service of a project. 

In most cases, however, foreign productions already have a director attached.
We are perfectly aware that when a production decides to shoot abroad, there is usually a director attached to the project. However, there are diverse opportunities for collaboration, for example as director for the second unit, which often requires a local unit. Our goal isn’t to take work away from foreign directors, but rather to create a bridge with them, a do ut des strategy, if you will. I like to think that one day, we could be the ones filming abroad and already having a connection with foreign productions and colleagues. Always with a view to “networking:” networking has always been in the DNA of our association and we want to exploit this opportunity.

What constitutes the collaboration between AIR3 and the Film Commissions?
The meeting in Venice allowed us to establish an open and collaborative dialogue with the Italian Film Commissions, and to therefore continue our networking activities, besides laying the foundations for new projects, maybe abroad. To demonstrate this, we have presented a video montage of some works created by our associated directors, which valorise the Italian territory. Iconic locations used in film, TV, documentary, series, music videos and advertising spots, all Made in Italy or, even better, “Made in AIR3.” The video can be viewed here, on our YouTube channel. 

How would the AIR3 network in case of a collaboration request? 
Every project suggested to will be submitted to all members of the association through internal channels. At this stage, the directors will manage the selection as they normally do for competitions and festivals. It will then be on the foreign production to decide which candidate to pick. We are only the intermediary.

Will AIR3 provide support and advice, at a contractual level for example? 
Certainly, we actually carried out consultancy work for our members last year, to guarantee certainty and more stable relations between the parties: we promoted the standard contract [here] between production house and director.

How will this initiative be promoted?
The event in Venice was the launch, but we trust in the communication that our partner IFC can provide us, and future opportunities which we hope Cinecittà will make available in international markets.

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(Translated from Italian)

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