A virtuous example in terms of efficiency and transparency, the younger Apulia Film Fund “” with funding of 1,600,000 Euros for 2010 “” has financed sixty-five projects over a three year period, one of the latest being “Mine vaganti” (Loose cannons) by Ferzan Ozpetek.
The main beneficiaries of the fund are Italian projects, 30% of which are feature length movies and 50% documentaries, with the remainder going to shorts and other formats.
“The Public Fund is a method that Italian production companies find tempting”, says Silvio Maselli, director of the Apulia Film Commission, “but it doesn’t seem to attract foreign productions. Funding of a maximum of 150,000 Euros per project is not enough to draw in international productions, especially where these interventions are not supported by a “Country System” that moves in the same direction.
There is no doubt that, in order to attract foreign productions, we need to put national strategies in place.
This highlights an all-Italian historical ineptitude that has atrophied in the southern part of the country, with Apulia remaining an isolated case”.
Worth noting in this context is the attention the Fund has received from India “which has an extraordinarily rich cinema industry.
In fact, the latest productions our territory has hosted include the blockbuster “Houseful” by Sajid Kahn, which will be distributed in all Indian movie theaters from 30th April, and was filmed in India, London and Apulia, with the contribution of our Film Commission.
Shooting took place in the province of Foggia, proving that Apulia is not “” as people mistakenly think “” just Salento, and can offer a variety of different locations”.
However, the activities of the Apulia FC are not limited to the Public Fund set up in 2007, and its future plans include a new mixed Fund with financial contributions from private sources which would lead to a differentiation of support mechanisms.
“We are working on the concept of a public-private Fund that would carry out and strengthen the functions of the original public Fund that could be readjusted to support debut works and independent cinema”, explains Maselli.
“The progressive contraction of state budgets has forced us to compensate for the ensuing shortfalls, also because the delay in publication in the Official Journals which would make Tax Credits and Tax Shelters operational “” although these alone cannot, in any case, be decisive “” has kept production companies waiting for around a year. As long as this situation of state inefficiency and duopoly persists, the Regional governments will increasingly carry out the role of co-producers”.
Whilst waiting to set up this new support mechanism, the work of the Apulia Film Commission “” which has based itself on the UK’s territorial marketing system and, with regard to Italy, looks towards the Piedmont model for continuity and rationality “” is continuing along its normal path.
In the next few months, the movies that have been granted funding from the first 2010 tranche of the Region’s Film Fund, will begin shooting in the area.
Nine productions are involved which will receive a total contribution of 355,000 Euros: two features, a television series, two shorts and four documentaries. The titles include the TV series “Una musica silenziosa” (Silent Music) by Ambrogio Lo Giudice (a Casanova Multimedia production) which “” with financing amounting to 150,000 Euros “” will spend twenty weeks filming in Bari, Monopoli, Conversano, Alberobello, Polignano a Mare and Mola di Bari.