Before becoming president of the Apulia Film Commission, Maurizio Sciarra was an author, director and script-writer. Therefore it is logical that he brings a particular attention to supporting the development of stories, the part that he has identified as “the weakest link in the production chain.”
“All the European projects we are launching in- volve helping with the creation of ideas and the development of the screenplay”, explains Sciarra. “For example, within the Italy-Greece project we intend to create a workshop based on the Puglia Experience model, to be held in Greece with the Mediterranean Film Institute”
The Italy-Greece project views the AFC as a leader, it involves the exporting of good practices, one of which is the film commission: “It was Greece that asked us to give our support to the Greek Cinematography Center in order to set up a film commission with the same model and objectives as the AFC. Part of this model also concerns the Euro-Mediterranean Co- Production Forum; we will have a Greek one”.
The AFC is also the leader of the Adrion project within which, Sciarra continues, “we have already realized the AdriaWealth project which, amongst other things, has led to the making of shorts on art (realized in Puglia, Montenegro and Albania), that the AFC relayed through Sky Arte by means of an innovative agreement”.
However even before the film commission, the good practice that Sciarra would like to export is that of aiming for European projects: “this is confirmed as AFC’s vocation which is weighing even less on the region’s ordinary budget: € 1 million a year versus the € 6.7 million that come from Europe. We are proud of the fact that 98% of our projects are deemed to be ad- missible by the European Union”.
Another point of pride, looking again at the international element, is the arrival of important foreign productions that have chosen Puglia even without the financial support of the Film Commission.
“At this very moment”, explained Sciarra, interviewed at the Otranto Film Fund Festival on 17 September, “Jet Stone Films, the production company of the great Chinese director, Wong Kar Wai, is arriving in Puglia where it will film the action movie Europe Raiders, directed by Jingle Ma, until the end of the month in Polignano a Mare, Ostuni, Otranto and Lecce (the line production is by the Italian Lotus Production). They did not request support from our fund, just our organizational skills: local talents and workers, as well as services, permits, location hunting…this confirms another positive trend: people choose to come and film here not exclusively because of the funds, but because it is easy to work here and the organization is efficient”.
In the meantime the funding of audiovisual productions (features, TV series, documentaries) related to the fondo a sportello-“desk fund” is currently being defined: € 3 million to be divided up between the 21 productions considered to be admissible from among the 26 presented