THE INTERVIEW/A record to be celebrated

Years that end in a nine are always important: 2019 is certainly an important year for the Film Commission of Liguria which is celebrating its twentieth birthday.

“It was a pioneering experience in Italy”, confirms Cristina Bolla, president of the Genova Liguria Film Commission, who announces: “it will be remembered during the course of the year with a dedicated event that can best maximize our supremacy.”

The lengthy story of the Film Commission is characterized by gradual and constant growth; this has accelerated over the last two years. Is that the merit of the Fund set up in 2017?
The fund was certainly an accelerator. It has an annual endowment of € 1 million that we aim to boost through occupational bonuses. However it is common knowledge that what has attracted productions to Liguria so far and what – I believe – will continue to attract them is, above all, the level of skills inside the Film Commission which has demonstrated its ability to anticipate the requirements of produc- tion companies.

2018 was a particularly intense year.
We hosted around 70 productions in the first 6 months including some important movies: Italian ones, like “I moschettieri del Re” by Giovanni Veronesi, and international ones like “Murder Mystery”, the Netflix production with Jennifer Aniston and Adam Sandler.

Then there was the collapse of the Morandi bridge.
That tragic event affected us as well; the bridge is actually very near our head office. But I want to reassure producers: just a few months after that terrible August 14th the logistics have been restored and the road network has actually been improved. In short, we have reacted by relaunching and boosting the reconstruction.

Villa Bombrini, the Film Commission’s head office, is located in Cornigliano, a converted former industrial district. Does the location have any particular meaning?
Looking towards the future is part of our story: with Società per Cornigliano, which is the proprietor of Villa Bombrini, we are studying ways in which to expand the spaces dedicated to us and those dedicated to young audiovisual businesses, called PACC (Audiovisual Production Centers of Cornigliano).

The Center is a strongly identifying aspect of the Genova Liguria Film Commission.
It is an identity we wish to strengthen by giving a strong boost to this incubator of businesses that already comprises around 60 companies made up of small, medium and start up firms.
The new feature is that we are developing a training project.
Let’s be clear: the Film Commission has always offered training, the new aspect is the formalization of our commitment in this field.
We are working towards becoming a training body ourselves, optimizing the professional skills and expertise that gravitate around us and within our board of management.

Let’s return to attracting productions to the region. There is another peculiarity here as  well: alongside cinema and TV there is also a lot of advertising.
We closely follow the advert and music video clip sector. It offers clear advantages: there is less effort involved, it guarantees an economic return and, above all, a considerable promotional impact on an international level as well.

Your background is in tourist and regional marketing. In what way have your professional skills affected the Film Commission’s strategies?
Since I took up my position, in summer 2017, I have tried to give a bigger role to promotion, combining the offer of locations with that of regional products.
I would like to cite, in this regard, the positive experience of “Liguria sullo schermo”, the initiative we organized at the Cannes festival in 2018, when we offered food and wine specialties from Liguria to members of the trade. The logic is to use the most important film industry events to carry out a 360 degree promotion of the region. This is the same perspective that is leading us to provide organizational support to the theatrical festivals that already exist in Liguria and that will result in us directly organizing a Festival ourselves.

Nella sezione: Focus on italy