The weak Italian presence at the Berlin Film Festival is nothing new: apart from some excellent exceptions, such as “Caesar must die” by the Taviani brothers, which won last year’s edition, traditionally the Berlinale Bear keeps Italian movies far away from the competition, often through the choice of the filmmakers and producers themselves.
However, the performance of Italian movies at the 2013 Berlinale is inevitably linked to the collapse of its market share in Italian theaters (26.5% in 2012 compared to 37.6% in 2011), within a more general context of falling audience figures that amounts to a worrying minus 10%.
In the same week that this data was announced, in the middle of January, other no less worrying figures were coming in regarding exports. Infact,a study presented in Rome by Unindustria,Distretto Audiovisivo and the Ict showed that, over a period of 10 years, the preponderance of audiovisuals on international markets had more than halved: now exports are worth only 9% of the total takings.
Although this is not a new problem, the negative trend has got steadily worse in recent years. The remedy has been ready for a few years now and is making the rounds of the various conferences organized on the subject: we have to internationalize our cinema by boosting co-productions with other countries.
This challenge has been taken up by a young generation of Italian producers who are attempting, through their work, to move beyond just words.
For them, the co-production formula appears to be an obligatory course, not just from a financial viewpoint, but also in terms of distribution, in order to open up a wider market for their movies than the Italian one, which notoriously penalizes independents.
Many of them have joined together under the auspices of the AGPCI (Association of Young Inde- pendent Theatrical Producers), an association that has made internationality a distinctive trait of the way its members make movies and a guarantee of independence.
For this reason, this edition contains a feature on the AGPCI and the new international projects of the producers who belong to the association.