Paris was in the media spotlight last summer as it welcomed, in succession, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese and Madonna who had come to film their latest movies.
The infatuation of international film-makers with Europe continued throughout the fall in an impressive variety of regions, countries…and formats.
Each production was welcomed and supported by the film commissions of the regions concerned, all EUFCN members.
The season’s first big budget production was the spectacular arrival of «The Three Musketeers» in Germany.
Last October this impressive 80 million dollar 3D film by Paul W. S. Anderson brought an army of international stars to all four corners of Bavaria: Orlando Bloom, Christoph Waltz, Milla Jokovich and Mads Mikkelsen played Alexandre Dumas’ famous characters in Würzburg, Munich, Bamberg, Burghausen and Château Herrenchiemsee. The movie received financial support from the FFF Bayern (1.6 million Euros) and the Bavarian Bank Fund (500,000 Euros).
The production then moved on to the Babelsberg Studios in Potsdam for the indoor scenes.
At the same time, in France, the Aquitaine region (which could quite logically have also welcomed the Three Musketeers……) opened its doors to a Chinese production, «Jiang Ai» by Yibai Zhang (see photo above). This film will show some of the Bordeaux region’s most emblematic scenery: its historical town center, Saint-Émilion, the Dune du Pyla……
Around ten kilometers to the south, work was in progress on the Spanish TV series, «El Asesinato de Carrero Blanco» (TVE1), about the ETA attack on the president of the Spanish government in 1973, featuring the hilly landscapes of the French Basque country, in particular Ciboure and Saint-Jean-de-Luz, as well as Madrid and the Spanish Basque country.
Another coastline, another sea, but still in Spain, the Valencia region’s Ciudad de la Luz studios were the venue for some big movies, the most notable of which involved a visit from Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver for «The Cold Light of Day» (see photo below) by Mabrouk El Mechri.
This 25 million dollar thriller set amidst the colors of Alicante will be distributed in movie theaters in 2011.
Meanwhile the studio’s Andalusian colleagues in Malaga were flying the European colors with the Belgian movie «Hasta la Vista».
A little further east, the sumptuous coasts of the Italian Riviera resounded to the rhythm of foreign film productions throughout the months of November and December: starting with the first 3D series from the US Discovery Channel, «Abandoned Planet», which was looking for places that have been abandoned by their inhabitants, like the mysterious town of Balestrino.
Then a Russian television crew came to film two parts of the «Galileo» series, with three parts filmed in Russia.
Hailed as being the season’s most eclectic country, Italy also welcomed Sir Terry Gilliam for a short feature on the city of Naples called «The Wholly Family».
Although southern Europe has certain climatic advantages at this time of year, our Nordic cousins have a lot to offer too.
Starting with Sweden, where the capital, Stockholm, will be the setting for a new adaptation of the romantic series «Millenium » by Stieg Larsson, and David Fincher will be filming «The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo» with Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara.
5 MILLION € TO SUD TYROL,
1.6 MILLION € IN APULIA
One of the latest members to join the EUFCN, the Business Location Sud- Tyrol Alto Adige(BLS) has created a new 5 million Euro fund destined for audiovisual productions filmed entirely or partly in the region.
Applications for funding can be made from March 20ll (www.bls.info). Meanwhile, the Apulia region in Italy has announced that it will be making 1.6 million Euros of funding available for 2011, also in order to attract film productions.
The next date for applications: 31st January 2011 (www.apuliafilmcommission.it).
MORE TOURISM AND CINEMA
The links between cinema and tourism continue to attract the attention of European regions.
On February 24th – 25th 2011, the BATCH (Bureau d’accueil de tournage cinéma en Hainaut – Belgium) will be organizing an international conference, in collaboration with the Mons Festival, called «Tourism and Cinema in European Regions», in order to assess the progress of the initiatives already in progress.
For its part, the Apulia region (Italy) has made a promotional film entitled «Scene to Explore», which shows how tourism, cinema and local traditions live together in the region.
5 BIG LOCATION MANAGERS IN FINNISH LAPLAND
In September the Finnish Lapland Film Commission organized a familiarization trip for 5 big location managers: Antonin Depardieu, Simon Barber, Nick Daubeny, Oliver Damian and Bill Moutain, who were able to assess the working conditions in the wild north as well as the diversity of the landscapes: rivers, lakes, hills, forests and the tundra region that can imitate Siberia.
Cinema&Video International, n. 1-2 gennaio-febbraio 2011
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