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LEGISLATION Italy

General State of Cinema 1: Digital

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The General State of Cinema, held in Rome from October 27-30 during the Rome International Film Festival, kicked off with the conference World Going Digital at the Hotel Majestic, and was led by the director of the Cinema 2008 section and the international film market, Giorgio Gosetti.

This first event dealt with growing digitalisation in the audiovisual world and its consequences both in terms of protecting copyright and the subsequent transformation of the distribution field.

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Patrick Verrone, president of the Writers Guild of America - West, spoke on the former, emphasising the advantages that digital would offer independent producers in particular, by reducing marketing costs, who could free themselves from the clutches of Hollywood’s top studios.

Cecile Despringre of the Federation Europeenne des Realisateurs de l’audiovisuel agreed, stating that digital challenges current market laws, expanding its boundaries and allowing filmmakers to broaden the distribution of their work. She added that, nevertheless, it is it difficult to create common European agreements because each country has its own copyright legislation.

Another topic central to the issue of digital is adapting cinemas for the transformation, in order to recoup audiences increasingly more apt to watch product on home video and the Internet. Matt Breckon of the UK’s Kino Digital, ANICA President Riccardo Tozzi and Carlo Berneschi, president of ANEM (National Association of Multiplex Exhibitors), illustrated the new strategies of the Cinema Management System, including the advent of 3D and the advantages to eliminating transport costs of film prints.

With regards to Italian television, Mediaset recognised the importance of a new strategy for its various platforms and RAI announced the gradual switch to digital within various Italian regions through its transfer by 2009.

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(Translated from Italian)

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