If we agree upon the fact that the future, even in cinema, is marked by female protagonism and environmental sustainability, we can be certain that South Tyrol’s IDM Film Fund & Commission has assured itself a place in the front row.
This is confirmed by the news that Birgit Oberkofler has announced to Cinema & Video International about the criteria governing the distribution of the Fund: “gender mainstreaming will be added to the usual three selection criteria for projects (artistic, economic, territorial effect) according to which, in the case of commensurate requisites, projects will be favored where the roles of responsibility in the production, above and below the line, aim to promote equal opportunities in the theatrical industry, attesting to the existence of a balanced relationship between men and women, between the professionals involved, in particular in managerial positions with regard to spheres such as production, scriptwriting, directing, acting, photography, editing, set design and soundtracks”.
Leading an almost entirely female staff and able to vaunt a selection committee made up equally of men and women, Birgit Oberkofler is convinced that the Film Commission can also do its bit in the fight against gender inequality.
She is doing so in the best possible conditions be- cause, faced with an Italian average that sees female filmmakers below 25%, in South Tyrol out of the 32 films supported by IDM FF&C in 2018, for example, 12 were directed by women.
The new selection criterion will be introduced in the May 2020 call, together with green shooting, another new feature for South Tyrol which will adopt a similar protocol to the one that already exists in neighboring Trentino (green practices certified by a public body), but which should also include a calculator for measuring CO2, according to the French model.
These are the principal new features announced by the South Tyrolean Film Commission which is celebrating its first ten years of activity in Berlin.
It will be accompanying “Siberia”, in competition at the Berlinale 2020, where South Tyrol lent its mountains to director Abel Ferrara to represent the freezing landscapes of the tundra (filming was carried out in various locations and even touched on the summit of The Plose, altitude 2.562 m).
In addition to “Siberia”, supported by the IDM Film Fund & Commission during the production phase, a little bit of South Tyrol was also used by director Giorgio Diritti for a few days of filming on his latest movie film “Volevo nascondermi”, also being presented at the Berlinale.
A quick run through of the stages of the Film Commission’s growth – from the scorching start with a € 5 million fund – is useful for understanding Birgit’s remark: “money isn’t enough”.
The growing demand for locations by productions attracted by the Fund, in fact, immediately encountered the need to become better equipped in order to offer services and professional skills, opening a parallel work site with interventions aimed at incentivizing the establishment of specialized technical companies, as well as the creation of professionals capable of assisting the productions.
From 2013 the commitment to training intensified with the creation of targeted training courses in collaboration with the ZELIG school in Bolzano, and developed with MOV!E IT!, set up in 2015 as an on line platform of training proposals for local workers which today can be consulted on the Film Commission’s website.
“Lots of local talents who were once forced to emigrate have returned to South Tyrol. In these years the situation has been overturned, we are also managing to ‘export’ professionals”, reveals Birgit, recounting various concrete examples including that of Lisa Maria Kerschbaumer who, after working with Terrence Malick who also filmed “A Hidden Life” in South Tyrol, followed the director as his personal assistant in order to conclude the period of filming the movie together.
But “films start from stories”, says Birgit, recalling the Film Commission’s attention to writing right from the beginning with the invention of the Script Lab RACCONTI, which has now reached its ninth edition and involves young European talents for all formats, from film to television drama, to digital platforms.
Stories are also born from places: this is confirmed by PLACES, the annual Location Tour organized by IDM to help directors and producers learn more about the variety of locations where it is possible to make movies in South Tyrol or set TV series, like the supernatural drama “Curon”, the highly anticipated original Netflix series produced by Indiana Production.