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MIA 2023

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

The MIA shines a light on Italian-language Swiss cinema

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Three new Italian-Swiss projects were presented in Rome, followed by a round table about the potential for collaboration between Italy and Ticino

The MIA shines a light on Italian-language Swiss cinema
(l-r) Mauro Donzelli, Tommaso Arrighi, Alessandro Marcionni, Michela Pini and Patrizia Pesko during the panel

The first day of the MIA – Rome International Audiovisual Market (running 9 - 13 October) hosted two events aimed at strengthening synergies between Italian film and Italian-language Swiss film.

For the occasion, the Ticino Film Commission also launched the publication Cinema svizzero italiano [Italian-Language Swiss Cinema], a twenty-page brochure relating the Ticino-based film-set experiences of Tempesta Film producer and CEO Carlo Cresto-Dina (who’s currently working in Switzerland on La chimera [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), actor and director Leonardo Pieraccioni (who helmed the comedy Il sesso degli angeli [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Cattleya’s executive producer Emanuele Savoini (“fresh from the set of a major TV series”).

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sunnysideofthedoc_register_2024_innerMai

For ten years, the film commission has solidified and boosted the attractiveness of filmmaking within the canton, which is populated by little more 350,000 inhabitants but boasts incredible potential. In 2024, thanks to revisions to the law on national cinema, this potential will be also be exemplified by investments from streaming platforms, who are now expected, from hereon in, to invest 4% of their profits generated in the region into independent Swiss film and to allocate millions of francs to future Swiss productions and co-productions with third-party countries, including Italy.

As explained in the preface of Cinema svizzero Italiano: “Italian-language Swiss cinema in Switzerland is, for the most part, Ticino cinema. Italian-language Swiss film in Italy is Italian cinema made in Switzerland, thanks to the proximity which unites us geographically and which even sees us overlapping linguistically”. And this extreme proximity was at the heart of two events organised on the occasion of the MIA.

In the morning, the headquarters of the Istituto Svizzero Italiano, Villa Maraini, hosted presentations of three co-production projects between Italy and Switzerland. The first project was the crime series Alter Ego, directed by Erik Bernasconi and Robert Ralston, which will be the first national series produced by RSI together with Amka Films. At present, the project is in the post-production phase and sees Gianmarco Tognazzi playing the lead role as a detective. The second is another TV series entitled Lugano Connection which is now in the development phase. Together, Ticino’s Fulvio Bernasconi and Rome’s Tommaso Matano tell “the true story of the first Swiss police officer to infiltrate the Bolivian drug trafficking world". Last but not least, the third project is the feature film Body Odyssey [+see also:
film review
interview: Grazia Tricarico
film profile
]
, directed by Grazia Tricarico: a co-production by Revok Film and Amka Films, the project “revealed Ticino and Switzerland to Romans, not least because of the bridging role played by the Ticino Film Commission between the two countries.”

Speaking of his Swiss experience, Tricarico confirmed that: “In Switzerland, we found a number of impressive locations which acted as a backdrop to an artistic, professional and predominantly human exchange; a mutual recognition which can be seen in each and every one of the film’s frames.”

Producer Donatello Della Pepa added: “Given that we had a Swiss protagonist, Jacqueline Fuchs, we wanted to find a Swiss location, which turned out to be crucial; we weren’t united by our language but by the need to construct a non-place which could reflect the idea of Mona’s artificial aesthetic perfection, as the protagonist bodybuilder in Body Odyssey.”

The day eventually closed with a panel discussion dedicated to Italian-language Swiss cinema, moderated by journalist and critic Mauro Donzelli. After greetings from the director of the Ticino Film Commission Niccolò Castelli and from the Locarno Film Festival’s artistic director Giona A. Nazzaro, opinions were expressed by Patrizia Pesko of the Swiss Federal Office for Culture, Alessandro Marcionni representing RSI, Cinéddoké and Amka Film producer Michela Pini, and Mood Film’s Italian producer Tommaso Arrighi.

The publication Cinema svizzero italiano can be accessed here.

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(Translated from Italian)

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