Professionalization and the search for new talent are the objectives that the Film Commission has constantly pursued: from the institution in 2007, of the Piemonte Doc Film Fund, to the more recent Short Film Fund and Fiction Lab (2014).
Four Fiction Lab projects have recently been optioned by producers before the actual pitch of the 12 projects taking part in the first serial writing workshop devised by the Film Commission, whose partners include Rai and Sky.
With the producers’ option (of 5000 Euros), the projects have a guaranteed possibility of being among the eight that will continue their writing journey, coordinated by scriptwriters Nicola Lusuardi and Stefano Sardo.
They are ‘(G)Round’ by Alessandra Ofelia Catanea and Roberto Di Tanna, optioned by Mood Film, ‘Aurora’ by Leonardo D’Agostini, Antonella Lattanzi and Andrea Nobile and ‘La Quarta Generazione’ by Matteo Berdini , both optioned by Publispei, and ‘Europa’, by Menotti and Kristina Svaerd, optioned by Panorama Film. “The latter, which was also written by a Swedish scriptwriter, immediately attracted a Swedish co-producer”, says Donatella Tosetti, head of FictionLab along with Angelica Cantisani.
“This is very important for us and reinforces our desire to evolve by finding an international interpretation, possibly involving a foreign partner with the timing and modalities to be defined, that could be a broadcaster, a producer, or a European film commission …”
In 2014 the Short Film Fund was also set up, with which the Film Commission extended its support to the world of shorts, in order to “give more structure to the companies operating in this sector, introducing almost ministerial level criteria to the bid in order to encourage young companies to adopt a more professional presentation approach. It was difficult, without defining the requisites, to intervene on such a vast and often independent production sector”, say Enrico De Lotto and Alfonso Papa, the Fund managers. The budget, carved out from the Film Commission’s ordinary budget, was 30,000 Euros, which was used to finance four projects ‘Neve rosso sangue’ by Daniele Daquino (Euro Film), ‘Meccanismo’ by Louis Nero (Louis Nero Film), ‘An After Thought’ by Matteo Bernardini (Open Reel) and ‘Il Ribelle’ by Dario Samuele Leone (Ouvert).
“Our intention was to impact on a few titles in order to make a more significant contribution, but we didn’t feel we could exclude more independent and low budget works if the language justified their selection, so we divided the bid into sections: pro, for the more professional shorts, which could benefit from a maximum of 15,000 Euros, and lab, for the low budget but more experimental projects, to be funded with a maximum of 3000 Euros. Unfortunately we did not feel that the projects we received for the lab section hit the mark with respect to our expectations, so we decided not to waste our resources and supported the 4 pro projects that we felt were more mature”.
Unlike the two new Piedmontese training “creatures”, the Doc Film Fund is now a veteran player, the first Italian fund to support documentary cinema, set up in 2007 by the Film Commission, based on the model of the principal European cinema and audiovisual funds. “Right from the 1980s, with the birth of the Torino Film Festival, many film- makers and some production companies became active in the region and, very early on, they started moving into European co-production. “Amongst other things, 30% of the Italian production companies active on international markets are from Turin,” explains Paolo Manera, who manages the Fund along with Daniele Segre.
Around 25 international productions have been realized with the support of the fund, out of a total of 130 films completed in 7 years.
“Every year around ten documentaries that we have supported make the rounds of the most important Italian and international festivals, we even ‘won’ a David di Donatello in 2008, for ‘Rata Nece Biti’ by Daniele Gaglianone.” In 2014 the resources of the Piemonte Doc Fund amounted to 350,000 Euros which will be confirmed in 2015. The PDF’s economic support can amount to up to 50% of the estimated budget, and it also provides support to productions outside Piedmont if they are particularly significant for the region on a socio-cultural-artistic and industrial- professional level (with an obligation to spend 120% of the amount allocated in Turin or Piedmont).