Italy to ensure theatrical release of high quality films all year round
by Vittoria Scarpa
- Italian film professionals from all areas of the sector are joining forces and signing up to the brand new Moviement initiative to put a stop to the summertime release gap plaguing national cinemas
The seasonality of Italian cinema has always been a much debated issue, what with it being one of the weakest points of the national film market. According to data based on the three-year period spanning 2016-2018, there were 59.6 million summertime cinema-goers in France, 32.3 in Spain and 29.6 in Germany, whereas in Italy, the number barely reached 16.6 million. To remedy this sore point, after years and years of calls for action falling into the void, a movement is now finally taking root. For the first time, all those involved in the Italian film industry (distributors and operators, both bigger groups and independents, art-house cinemas and multiplexes, producers, institutions and stars) are coming together and coordinating their action to relaunch cinema as a year-round form of cultural entertainment, including in the hotter months of the year when the larger part of movie theatres close for the holidays.
This new initiative, which will herald a new era according to its promoters, is called Moviement and comprises a three-year plan starting from 2019. “The programme for summer 2019 is more important than ever and will see big blockbuster films released on a day-and-date basis as in other European countries, alongside titles produced by big directors both from Italy and abroad”, stated Luigi Lonigro, chairman for distributors at ANICA, during the crowded presentation of the project yesterday in Rome, following an introduction by ANICA’s president, Francesco Rutelli. Improved distribution of theatrical releases should also help to avoid an overload of films at certain points in the year: “All films, big or small, will enjoy longer exhibition periods, which will give viewers more time to see them”, stressed Carlo Bernaschi, president of ANEM.
Titles which are due to be released in cinemas between May and August this year include: Stan and Ollie [+see also:
film profile] by Jon S Baird, The Sisters Brothers [+see also:
interview: Jacques Audiard
film profile] by Jacques Audiard, Beautiful Boy by Felix Van Groeningen, The Golden Glove [+see also:
interview: Fatih Akin
film profile] by Fatih Akin; Italian films The Great Spirit by Sergio Rubini and Il signor Diavolo by Pupi Avati; others such as Domino by Brian De Palma, Submergence [+see also:
film profile] by Wim Wenders, Nureyev: The White Crow [+see also:
interview: Ralph Fiennes
film profile] by Ralph Fiennes, and not forgetting Rocketman [+see also:
film profile] by Dexter Fletcher, Godzilla II: King of the Monsters, The Lion King and many others. And this schedule which looks set to include a total of around sixty films will be further enriched after Cannes.
If distributers and producers commit to the initiative and finalise a list of summer films as has never been done before (“The challenge is to change cultural habits, as producers we are starting to think about films which are suitable for summer release”, revealed Francesca Cima, chair of producers at ANICA), operators will keep cinemas open for the summer duration (“The industry is ready to take up this challenge”, declared Mario Lorini, president of ANEC), and the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities (MIBAC) is also playing its part by contributing an incentive which will cover “up to 40% of distribution [costs], potentially rising to 70% for films which are shown on over 200 screens and which have a launch plan exceeding 500 thousand euros”, specified the Ministry undersecretary, Lucia Borgonzoni.
Completing the Moviement team are the David di Donatello organisers - who, with their president Piera Detassis and the support of Rai, will officially launch the initiative on stage during the awards ceremony on 27 March – as well as stars within the industry who will help to spread the message individually (the first testimonial will be given by Pif). An intensive communications strategy will also be implemented across traditional and social media so as to raise viewers’ awareness of the initiative and garner their support.
(Translated from Italian)
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