Chiara Fortuna • International Affairs Staff Officer, General Directorate for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Culture
“Italy and Spain have a very good relationship and we are both keen to develop it further”
- We met up with Chiara Fortuna, international affairs staff officer at the General Directorate for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Culture, at the Seville European Film Festival
On the occasion of the first edition of the European Coproductions Meeting – dedicated to Italy and Spain – at the Seville European Film Festival, we met up with Chiara Fortuna, international affairs staff officer at the General Directorate for Cinema of the Italian Ministry of Culture, to discuss the situation regarding the increasing cooperation between the film industries of both countries.
Cineuropa: What interested the Italian Ministry of Culture in collaborating with the European Coproductions Meeting at the Seville European Film Festival?
Chiara Fortuna: We are very invested in the relationship between Italy and Spain, especially because we joined the Ibermedia programme in 2016, and we are trying to become a bigger part of it. At the moment, our role is that of observer, and we want to become stronger so that we can eventually obtain the right to vote, for example. We really believe that fostering the relationship between these two countries, as well as with Latin America, is very important in this phase. This year, we are very happy that, thanks to Ibermedia, all the Italian applications were granted, which is a good starting point. We want to improve the co-production system between Italy and Spain. In the last 10 years, we’ve co-produced 31 film projects through bilateral or multilateral co-productions. 19 of them were bilateral co-productions between Italy and Spain and 12 were multi-lateral. The last four were in 2019, made by important Italian production companies (Paco Cinematografica with Stefano Cipani’s My Brother Chases Dinosaurs [+see also:
interview: Stefano Cipani
film profile] and Michela Andreozzi’s Brave Ragazze, Minerva with Marco Bocci’s It’s a Mad World, Palomar with Alessandra Martelliti's Famosa).
It is easier now for Italian producers to co-produce with Spain, as well as with these other countries?
Right now, there is a lack of opportunities for producers to meet physically. Our new cinema law wants to foster co-productions, so we are working towards changing this. We want to stress that, if you want to co-produce a project, you have to meet in person, talk and share. Italian producers are complaining at the moment about not having a lot of opportunities to do so. We want to invest on finding international markets where people from Spain, Italy, Portugal and Latin America can meet. We also need to inform Spanish producers about how things work in Italy and about the production options we offer. In Italy, we also have important events, markets and meeting points, like Rome’s MIA and Trieste’s When East Meets West, that film professionals find very useful for finding partners.
What are you telling Spanish producers who want to work with Italy?
Spanish producers can apply to our selective schemes, where co-productions are favoured. The co-productions get a higher score than national films. We have just launched a new fund with a big budget (€5 million) exclusively dedicated to co-productions in which Italy participates in a minority share, so Spain can be in majority. We also have our national tax credit with a very high rate, 30%. For co-productions, the Italian producer can apply and a 30% of fiscal incentives can be granted concerning the Italian share. There is also a measure that offers benefits for reimbursement – if a Spanish producer wants to come to Italy to shoot a movie which is not Italian, they can apply for the foreign tax credit, and the Spanish producer will benefit of tax incentives of 30% of the expenses incurred in Italy by the Italian line producer. Furthermore, we have many bilateral co-development funds with other specific countries, but which are also open to other countries. For example, we have a co-development fund with Chile, and Spain can apply together with Chile and Italy, as long as these two countries have the majority share. This year we are also launching a new fund with France, which is also aimed at production, and Spain is more than welcome to apply for it under those conditions.
Italy and Spain have a very good relationship and we are both keen to develop it further, in order to develop the number of audiovisual projects co-produced together. Our next meeting with Spain will be in Buenos Aires, during the Ventana Sur Film Festival, together with our friends from Latin American countries. A working group has been created with the aim of studying how to increase the circulation of ideas and how to support producers to meet and share their projects.
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