Industry Report: Campania Cinema Law; evidence of Campania’s renewed attention to its own potential
by Roberto Fierro
A pearl nestled between the sea and the countryside, a land as mysterious as it is beautiful. A volcano in the vicinity and some of the most peculiar islands of Mare Nostrum. All of this and even more are to be found in the immensity of Campania and its pearl, Naples.Eight centuries before Christ, when Pompeii was still yet to be buried by Vesuvius, the Greeks had already arrived and were boosting their economy, and the Romans followed suit. They already knew the value of the territory at the time, both in war – due to its position, located inside the bay - and in peace – for trade with thousands of different people, something that continues into the present day.
An established example of its eternal youth and prosperity is its GDP: the highest among the regions of Southern Italy. But nothing special compared to the Italian average, due to the steep economic gap between the North and the South of Italy, which is only worsened by a large potential which is yet to be properly exploited, as well as high rates of unemployment and a submerged economy.
It’s exactly this that Roberto Saviano hopes to denounce with Gomorra, his editorial and social earthquake, a book that has been adapted into a TV series. But Saviano is not the only beacon of Neapolitan denunciation, there were several artists before him in Southern Italian cinematic history. From pioneers such as the De Laurentiis brothers to eternal actors and actresses such as Totò and Sofia Loren, followed by the rebirth of Neorealism with Paolo Sorrentino. All of these artists have attempted to contribute their own sociological means to improving cinematic tradition with the fresh talent, ideas, creativity and entrepreneurial initiative that Campania has to offer cinema and television.
It’s a long-running cinematic tradition that has involved many different talents, such as film stars, artisans, entrepreneurs, great artists and technicians of professionalism and reliability. But Campania doesn’t live off the back of its past: the great visibility enjoyed by the region at the recent Venice Film Festival, with a total of 10 films present in the various sections, is a sign of the renewed excitement which is animating the creative energies of the region.
Another important step towards the future involves the foundation of the Film Commission Regione Campania in 2005, an organisation which created the film-friendly environment that has attracted many big names in international cinema to the region, such as Eat Pray Love by Ryan Murphy, Angels and Demons by Ron Howard, as well as Indian productions and arthouse films such as Love Is All You Need [+see also:
film profile] by Susanne Bier.
Some of the most internationally famous Italian directors have also spent time in Campania: the Neapolitan Paolo Sorrentino, possibly Italy’s best known and biggest award-winning director on an international level, shot his first film here, as well as The Family Friend and Il Divo [+see also:
interview: Nicola Giuliano
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
interview: Philippe Desandre
film profile] with the support of the FCRC. In 2016, Gianni Amelio set Tenerezza: Holding Hands [+see also:
interview: Gianni Amelio
film profile], in Naples, which went on to win three Nastro d’Argento, while Matteo Garrone, who has shot nearly all of his films in Campania including, most recently, Gomorra [+see also:
interview: Domenico Procacci
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile] and Reality [+see also:
interview: Matteo Garrone
film profile], will start filming Dogman here in November. On top of this, yet another Italian film of international fame is currently in preparation, La Paranza dei Bambini, Claudio Giovannesi’s cinema adaptation of Roberto Saviano’s third novel.
The producer Tilde Corsi who, together with her partner Gianni Romoli, returned to Naples this spring after fourteen years can claim two records: she was one of the first people to film in Scampia when the Film Commission was still just an idea in Maurizio Gemma's head and she also produced Ferzan Ozpetek’s new film, Napoli Velata, which will be the first feature to benefit from the new Italian cinema law’s recently established regional fund.
In its twelve years of activity, the FCRC has welcomed and facilitated the creation of over 650 projects in Campania, almost 50% of which are feature-length for cinema, television dramas and documentaries, registering a remarkable increase over the last few years in arthouse films and long-running television series.
A further successful and promotional factor for Campania in the audiovisual world was the approval of the Campania Cinema Law in October 2016, which is evidence of Campania’s renewed attention to the potential for economic development, cultural growth and regional promotion that audiovisual production can guarantee. The implementation of the law through a three-year program and annual operational plan provides for the annual allocation of €5 million between 2017 and 2019, and, in addition to the ordinary funds provided by the new law, the region has already set aside a €4 million fund to support film creations and audiovisual productions through European funding.
“Our task is to make the work of production companies possible in a safe environment and, at the same time, to safeguard the region, guaranteeing it visibility and a great economic impact.” These are the words of Maurizio Gemma, director of the Film Commission Regione Campania, who lays claim to the fruits of the Film Commission’s work. Gemma proudly adds that “the Italian law is a very important goal. With it the Regional Council has managed to acknowledge the urgency of a strategy that makes focused, continuous and safe interventions in the sector, placing various audiovisual supply chains within an organic and incisive plan.”
The Regional Council has also become involved in and accompanied the birth of a new generation of filmmakers from Campania and the growth of new production subjects but, above all, it has fostered the meeting of the supply and demand of content, talent and professional skills, involving both national and international production sectors as much as the regional one.
http://www.cinemaevideo.it/scenariowelcome-to-campania - Paolo di Maira
http://www.cinemaevideo.it/actionnapoli-revelead - Carolina Mancini
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