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Industry / Market - Italy

Industry Report: Produce - Co-Produce...

Italian series and films are experiencing growth in foreign markets, according to the ANICA-APA report


The recently presented research sponsored by the two trade associations and carried out within the framework of the MIA reveals the fundamental role played by international co-productions

Italian series and films are experiencing growth in foreign markets, according to the ANICA-APA report
The presentation of the ANICA-APA research yesterday in Rome

International co-productions are the driving force behind foreign circulation of Italian audiovisual titles. This is the conclusion of the research entitled “Italian series and films in foreign markets: circulation and economic value”, sponsored by ANICA (Italian National Association of Audiovisual and Digital Film Industries) and the APA (Italian Association of Audiovisual Producers), and presented yesterday in Rome. Based on the average figures recorded for the three-year periods 2017-2019 and 2020-2022, there has been a 51% rise in works made in league with foreign producers, and a significant increase in the number of countries involved has also been observed: 25 per year in the 2020-2022 period versus 16 across 2017-2020.

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The results of the research carried out in collaboration with the eMedia institute, with the support of Agenzia ICE within the framework of the 2023 MIA, reveal that in the three-year period running 2020-2022, film and TV works received foreign funding worth a total of €103 million (from producers in minority and equal positions), which is up 49% on the €69 million recorded in 2017-2019. France is the country with whom Italy has made the greatest number of co-productions (73), followed by Switzerland (31), and Germany and Belgium with 24 and 25 co-production contracts respectively.

Carried out across an overall number of 2,072 works produced between 2017 and 2022 (the number of works produced between the two three-year periods rose by 28%), the research provides an estimate of the number of titles which enjoyed some level of circulation abroad, even if only on one of the three distribution channels (movie theatre, TV, VoD). Based on this data, which is continually updating, it’s estimated that the number of Italian series and films produced in 2022 with some level of foreign circulation falls between 183 and 203, with an overall export value of between €106 and €156 million, which is a clear rise on the equivalent data for 2017, when foreign circulation was only worth a third of the current value.

Four factors are believed to be responsible for the rise in production volumes and foreign circulation between 2017 and 2022: in addition to a generalised rise in global demand for titles and the entrance of global VoD operators into the market, with their contribution to series and film production, there’s also the Tax Credit initiative, which was extended back in 2017 to video-TV productions, and the entry into the market of foreign capital, which has given national businesses access to a wider range of more intense international relationships.

The study does, however, warn that the impact of these four elements will lessen in the coming years. “We need to attract new investors and work on products which are ever-more suited to export”, ANICA president Francesco Rutelli insisted, also focusing on the subject of foreign distribution: “In order to support it, we need minimum guarantees which provide effective leverage to encourage Italian firms to return to distributing cutting-edge Italian films”. 

“Different countries also put themselves across and compete using their own, individual storytelling methods, and cultural, audiovisual and cinematographic works are an incredibly important means for this storytelling”, explained APA (and Cinecittà) president Chiara Sbarigia, who also re-iterated the economic value of the creative industries, a value which we need to continue protecting and supporting, especially in light of employment figures: as it stands, 120,000 people are currently directly employed by the sector in Italy.

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(Translated from Italian)

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