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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Italy

Italian cinemas get set to reopen, shored up by new forms of support

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- Movie theatres will be awarded 10,000 euros a piece, as well as a contribution towards their loss in earnings, by way of a new government provision

Italian cinemas get set to reopen, shored up by new forms of support

Cinemas are readying themselves for their great return, officially set for 15 June, following three months of forced closure as a result of Coronavirus.

The concerns expressed by cinema operators in recent weeks over the government’s excessively stringent health and safety protocols and the distinct lack of films available to screen are gradually abating, thanks, in part, to the financial support put forward by the government. On Friday, the Minister for Culture Dario Franceschini signed two decrees worth a combined €120 million, shoring up the entirety of the film and audiovisual sector in Italy. The first, worth €100 million, is geared towards production and distribution. The second allocates €20 million in support of movie theatres: a non-repayable sum of €10,000 for each cinema, upon request, as well as an additional amount calculated on the basis of lost earnings. A further sum of €20 million, guided by the same aims, will be added to these funds as soon as the amendment to the relevant draft law - which Mibact has already expressed a favourable opinion on - is approved. "It’s a hugely positive sign for the whole sector”, enthused Mario Lorini, president of ANEC – the Italian National Association of Cinema Operators, “but also an incentive to take the next step of gradually reopening the film market".

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"We are certain that the decision to prioritise cinemas as the ideal setting to enjoy films”, stresses Lorini, “represents a first decisive step towards a return to normality, and sends an important signal to the wider public who have been forced to miss out on the magic of cinema for too long now. We hope that this decision will be acted on by other distributors too, resulting in a list of new films arriving on the big screen as of July".

Cinemas will reopen with a hugely promising Italian comedy, A Son Named Erasmus [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, and a popular title for younger audiences, the Disney animation Onward. (For more information on the titles arriving in Italian cinemas, click here).

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(Translated from Italian)

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