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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Italy

Italy’s Ministry of Culture lends its support to new, international minority co-productions

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- €5,000,000 has been earmarked for winning projects of the 2020 call for submissions, which offers selective funding for co-produced or minority Italian films

Italy’s Ministry of Culture lends its support to new, international minority co-productions
Director Pietro Marcello, whose new project Il volo has been funded

La Tresse, the upcoming film by French director Laetitia Colombani (He Loves Me… He Loves Me Not), Los impactados by Argentine director Lucia Puenzo (The German Doctor [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Baltazar by the Polish master Jerzy Skolimowski (11 Minutes [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Jerzy Skolimowski
film profile
]
) and Il volo by Italy’s Pietro Marcello (Martin Eden [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Marcello
film profile
]
), which will be produced by France (CG Cinéma), are just some of the winning projects of the second session of the 2020 call for submissions, which offers selective aid to co-produced or minority Italian films.

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The call was issued by the Italian Ministry of Culture’s Directorate General for Film and Audiovisual Works (formerly MIBACT) and is geared towards projects which are made in co-production with foreign states and in which Italian co-producers hold a minority stake (20% if bilateral, 10% if multilateral). The fund was created in 2019 with a view to bolstering international collaboration, as provided for within the recent Reform (law 220/2016) which sets out internationalisation of the sector as one of its main objectives.

This new fund for minority co-productions relies on an annual budget of €5,000,000, which is split between two separate deadlines and which is offered in addition to the other funds made available by the Ministry of Culture (MiC) with the aim of attracting foreign investors: these monies include bilateral development funds (with France, Tunisia, Portugal and the Baltic States), selective aid, whereby all co-productions, whether majority or minority holdings, are awarded automatic points and automatic subsidies, and where the fact of having produced or distributed co-productions generates a score, or tax credit, for which all costs incurred by the Italian stakeholder are eligible, even if not incurred wholly in Italy. As stated in a press release, “This latest resource emphasises the MiC’s strong commitment to internationalisation, with somewhere in the region of 50 million euros dedicated solely to foreign works shot in Italy (and not in co-production)”.

Projects submitted in response to minority co-production calls will be selected by an external committee nominated by the Directorate General, which will come to a decision within 3 months of the session ending. This aid is non-repayable and can total up to 60% of the Italian share, with a cap set at €300,000. 80% of the aid received must be spent in Italy.

During the 4 calls which have taken place so far – 2 in 2019 and 2 in 2020 – subsidies have been awarded to a total of 79 titles produced by 30 countries, including Australia, Israel and South Africa. Most of these countries do tend to be European though, with France, Switzerland, Poland and the Balkans leading the recipient list. In addition to the titles mentioned above, a large number of first works also feature among the various projects approved following the most recent call. (For the full list of projects which received aid in 2020, click here).

Works awarded subsidies in previous sessions include the new production directed by Bruno Dumont France; Diego Lerman’s Il professore di lettere; the upcoming film by Andrea Pallaoro Monica; Petr Vaclav’s Il Boemo; Jessica Woodworth’s Fortress and A Room of His Own by Matan Yair. The 2021 call will be issued by June.

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(Translated from Italian)

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