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“Nous promouvons les échanges internationaux ; ça correspond bien à notre nature de caméléon recouvrant les univers germanophone et italophone”

Dossier industrie: Produire - Coproduire...

Birgit Oberkofler • Directrice, IDM Film Commission Südtirol

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La Film Commission du Tyrol du Sud cherche à consolider l'industrie du cinéma locale et à encourager les coproductions internationales, nous a expliqué sa directrice

Birgit Oberkofler  • Directrice, IDM Film Commission Südtirol
(© Armin Huber)

Cet article est disponible en anglais.

On the occasion of this year's edition of the INCONTRI film and media conference (13-15 March), we met up with Birgit Oberkofler, head of IDM Film Commission Südtirol. We asked her about the particularities of the South Tyrol region and what it can offer to the international film industry.

Cineuropa: What makes South Tyrol a particularly attractive location for film productions and co-productions?
Birgit Oberkofler:
First of all, Italy naturally has a great history in film production and is very creative. We have beautiful natural surroundings – and not just mountains, as some people might think. What also makes us attractive is our collaboration with local filmmakers. We have built up an industry and strengthened the local film sector. We also promote international exchange, which suits us particularly well as a chameleon embracing the German-speaking and Italian-speaking worlds. Films are also increasingly being initiated by South Tyrolean creatives, and are being financed and produced in collaboration with international partners. Shooting in highly visible locations raises the international profile and desirability of South Tyrol. 

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How big is the film-funding budget?
We work with €4.5 million per year. We support around 30 projects from development to production, including documentaries, series and fiction feature films. For the past two years, this has also included short-film funding.

Could you explain in more detail how you promote the development and the strengthening of the local industry?
We organise more than 25 networking, educational and training initiatives per year. These include the INCONTRI film and media conference and the multi-day Talents and Short Film Market [TSFM] Summer Event. We organise many courses ourselves, such as the MOV!E IT! programme, but we also work with renowned training institutions. For instance, we collaborate with EAVE by supporting a local participant if they are chosen for the international Producers Workshop. A delegation of filmmakers also participates in WEMW in Trieste, MOP Meetings in Saarbrucken and the Clermont-Ferrand Short Film Festival. Also, the Berlinale’s European Film Market is quite an important networking tool. This year’s Co-Production Market saw the involvement of the feature-film project Idda’s Breath by director Irene Dionisio, produced by Kino Produzioni. The film’s script was developed at IDM’s RACCONTI Script Lab, and we are providing the project with pre-production funding.

Could you outline the structure of the South Tyrolean film-funding organisation?
The film fund is provided by South Tyrol’s Ministry of Economic Affairs. That's why we also have to make sure that more money is spent in the province by film projects than the amount we provide. In this regard, in 2023, we were able to achieve a figure of 333% for the first time, which is an incredible amount, also compared to other funding organisations in Europe. The results allow us to prove to politicians that our work is worthwhile.

Can you elaborate on your success stories?
An independent auditing company collates the expenditure in the territory. This encompasses the film-specific costs that productions have spent on shooting in South Tyrol. Of course, there is much more added value, but that would be difficult to quantify. This was also the case with two special productions. For example, the Netflix film My Name Is Vendetta [+lire aussi :
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by Cosimo Gomez, starring Alessandro Gassmann in the title role, was shot in South Tyrol. The film broke all online audience records for a debut feature. Even though it didn't receive any funding from us, we appreciate that part of the movie was shot in our region. The advertising effect is huge, of course, as is the amount of money spent in the region. The same applies to Heart of Stone by Tom Harper, starring Gal Gadot, Jamie Dornan, Alia Bhatt, Sophie Okonedo and Matthias Schweighöfer. The film reached a worldwide audience of 33.1 million people on the first weekend after its release on 11 August. Alpin Arena Val Senales is prominently placed in the movie’s opening.

Can you give us some examples of projects that you have supported in recent years?
The most important productions include Linda Olte’s feature Sisters [+lire aussi :
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, which was co-produced by Albolina Film from Bolzano and won several awards, including the Audience Award of the City of Bolzano at the Bolzano Film Festival. Then there is Vista Mare [+lire aussi :
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, a surreal and poetic documentary by South Tyrolean directors Julia Gutweniger and Florian Kofler, which had its world premiere at the Locarno Film Festival. The film was also shown at various festivals and was awarded the Prize for Best Italian Documentary at the Festival dei Popoli in Florence.

The documentary Souvenirs of War by Bolzano-based director Georg Zeller, produced by Bolzano-based Helios Sustainable Film, premiered at the Sarajevo Film Festival and the Festival dei Popoli. Hanno Olderdissen’s family film Lassie – A New Adventure, which was partly shot in South Tyrol, was seen by almost 600,000 cinemagoers. Finally, Lubo [+lire aussi :
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interview : Valentina Bellè
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by Giorgio Diritti, which was also partly shot in the region, celebrated its premiere in competition at the 80th Venice International Film Festival.

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