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Italy sees a boom in film production


- 230 audiovisual productions are underway in the Roman region alone, according to ANICA president Francesco Rutelli, who took part in a conference on the future of the film industry

Italy sees a boom in film production
The participants in the “What Will The Film Industry Do: A Conversation on the Future of Film”

“As of 30 March, there are 230 audiovisual productions being shot in the Roman region alone”. These were the words of ANICA president Francesco Rutelli, spoken during a webinar promoted by Hearst Magazines Italy and moderated by Piera Detassis, entitled “What Will The Film Industry Do: A Conversation on the Future of Film”. According to Rutelli, this boom in film production in Italy despite the desperately challenging period brought about by the pandemic, can be attributed to the patience and determination shown and the collaborative efforts made by the various actors involved in the sector. “While the situation of cinemas continues to be disastrous, productions are back up and running thanks, first and foremost, to producers, crews, actors and directors, and the support given by ministers for culture and for work”. The major costs, linked to interruptions in filming (a risk not covered by insurance) and Covid compliance on set, have been covered by the government, “who introduced heftier tax credits” - namely, a 10% increase on the maximum rate, which has risen from 30% to 40%, as highlighted by the president of ANICA’s producers division Francesca Cima, “an increase which covers the average additional costs recorded in budgets”.

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“We’ve had 12 months of stopping and starting”, confirms Medusa’s vice president and CEO Giampaolo Letta, who reminded attendees of the many films which were due to hit cinemas in February 2020, which were pushed back to October and which still haven’t been released yet. “We’ve had to revise our plans and our budget forecasts. A year ago, there was no guarantee that film production would take off again. The collective effort we’ve seen has been incredible”.

For Francesca Cima, the next step is to try to work out what will happen with these productions and to focus on the revival of cinemas to get back to normality. Luigi Lonigro (director of 01 Distribution and president of ANICA’s distributors division), for his part, is convinced that when cinemas re-open, “Italian titles will make all the difference, given that American products have been readily available of late. This hiatus has helped us to understand that platforms can play a complementary role if we put individual interests aside. But some films have been waiting for a year now and have already launched promotional activities twice, and the sector, which has been very badly hit, is ready to get going again”.

There remains the unknown question of viewers’ return to cinemas. Andrea Occhipinti, president of Lucky Red, spoke of the MioCinema platform which acts as an extension to cinemas, with the latter playing a part in social media communications and marketing, and sharing in the platform’s earnings. “We placed an immediate focus on safeguarding films and keeping dialogue with the community alive. People stopped seeing this platform as a rival to cinemas and instead started to view it as an additional option”. Occhipinti foresees a new modus operandi which will be an improvement on the previous excess of titles and lack of time in which to see them. When cinemas re-open, “media chronology and film consumption methods will change”. Cinemas, Rutelli asserts, “will need to take these changes into account”.

“For 10 years, cinemas have been overcoming crises and continually reinventing themselves”, Francesca Cima concludes. “I fully expect cinemas to surprise us once again”.

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(Translated from Italian)

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