Cristina Priarone • Director, Roma Lazio Film Commission
“A key characteristic of the association over the past few years is very close collaboration between the Italian film commissions and the regions”
- How is the work of film commissions evolving? The president of the Association of Italian Film Commissions answers our question
The president of the Association of Italian Film Commissions Cristina Priarone explains how the work of film commissions is evolving.
Cineuropa: Let’s talk about the Association of Italian Film Commissions’ new steering committee, how this new team was put together and what your priorities are for the coming years?
Cristina Priarone: We held elections for the new co-ordination team, which is in place for three years, and I was re-elected as president. The two elected vice-presidents are Paolo Manera from Piedmont and Maurizio Gemma from Campania. The Italian Film Commissions is an association which has seen significant growth, gradually tackling the many issues which have reared their heads both nationally and internationally. It’s a way of working which requires capillary action, alongside a presence in all Italian regions.
Do the film commissions collaborate with one another?
A key characteristic of the association in recent years is very close collaboration between film commissions and regions. A few years ago, there was a lingering, somewhat obtuse sense of competition between certain film commissions, but they soon realised that really wasn’t to their advantage, that it was far better to work together so that everyone could be stronger, and to turn it into a national victory. What’s more, we often see different funds involved in a given project nowadays, and filming on this one project takes places in different regions, so this automatically leads to collaboration. And this led to us winning a Ministry for Culture call for a zero-km film education project which would be used to train teachers.
This tendency towards green shooting is becoming increasingly integral to the film commissions’ work, I imagine.
Absolutely, it’s very important to us. Lots of regions are mindful of this, nowadays.
What direction is production in Italy taking at present? Is it leaning towards TV series funded by platforms, like other countries?
Series have made a real entrance in our country, in production terms. There’s also been a huge rise in documentaries, but let’s just say that, overall, we’re seeing real creative vitality at present, not least because of streaming platforms, which we all thought would focus solely on mainstream projects. But they’ve also given us various research productions, with different focuses, which has resulted in so many different dynamics, including the emergence of different kinds of authorship.
Cineuropa has spoken with European producers who say they can’t find the workforce they need. Is this also the case in Italy?
Absolutely, there’s huge demand at the moment and certain roles often can’t be filled. It’s hard to find organisers, administrators, script clerks, location managers…
What about the Roma Lazio Film Commission? Do you have any news for us, or are you working on anything specific?
Just like Roma Lazio, we’ve always been highly focused on developing co-production. Besides that, we’re constantly promoting our regions, mapping them and making suggestions. We worked on promoting centuries-old trees, for example, so that people would use them as locations; we’ve got a really incredible legacy in the Lazio region, in this respect. We’ll be launching an initiative called I Posti Parlanti [Talking Places] through which, in addition to promoting each location, we’ll make sure audiovisual operators, the wider public and people from all other sectors, understand all the other connections, content and points of view involved, whether cultural, naturalistic, historic or modern.
The centuries-old trees project made it to the finals of the Makers and Shakers competition in London, which recognises the best initiative for promoting locations.
Could you remind us of the size of the co-production fund?
The co-production fund totals 10 million euros per year. Lazio Cinema International is a fund that’s open to the whole of Europe and the entire world. Obviously, it needs to involve a co-producer from the Lazio region. Half is allocated to film, half to TV production. The money is often spent in the Lazio region, but we also have a fund that isn’t solely linked to film shoots. In all, the Lazio region’s funds total 23 million euros.
(Translated from Italian)
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