The Italian movie industry and institutions will be a solid but fragmented presence at the Cannes Film Festival 2009, in this year of transition that sees the definitive transformation of Cinecittà Holding and its subsidiaries into a single structure with a new form.
After the appointment announced last January, the DG for Cinema at the Ministry for Cultural Heritage, Gaetano Blandini, will be leaving his position as the Sole Director of the public group during the festival on La Croisette “” from 13th “” 24th May “” leaving the path clear for the new top management team: President Roberto Cicutto and Managing Director Luciano Sovena.
They will take their places at the helm of Cinecittà -Luce S.p.A, a new body that merges the holding company with the subsidiaries and within which the incorporated Filmitalia will be a structure dedicated, as always, to the promotion of Italian films abroad.
“We will be attending Cannes as “˜Cinecittà – Luce’, a new single structure at the service of the Italian movie industry which incorporates the public group’s previous companies and functions”, explains Managing Director, Luciano Sovena.
“But we will be located in different areas: the Italian Pavilion in the International Village will host business activities for market operators; whilst the Italian Pavilion-Croisette, will once again be used to hold meetings, press conferences and interviews with the protagonists of Italian cinema, as well as presentations of festivals and events.
The partners in the Italian Pavilion will include the Rome Film Festival, Rai Cinema, the Apulia Film Commission, the Toscana Film Commission, the RomaLazio Film Commission, CineSicilia and various sponsors who have supported our presence in Cannes, realized with the contribution of the Cinema Department of the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.
In terms of size, we will be occupying a slightly smaller area than usual in order to cut costs at this time of economic crisis, although we will not be reducing our activities”.
The new Cinecittà area will be located at no. 42, Boulevard de la Croisette, around 200 meters from the Palais du Cinéma.
Luciano Sovena adds that the public structure will also be bringing Marco Bellocchio‘s “Vincere” to Cannes, the only Italian title in competition at the Festival this year:
“Istituto Luce is the film’s co-producer, along with Rai Cinema, Offside and Celluloid Dreams, having provided the archive material which is essential to the movie”.
The Association of Italian Film Commissions, in collaboration with the ICE “” Italian Foreign Trade Commission “” will be in the Pantiero area, near the Port of Cannes, where the International Film Commissions are located, as well as structures like the French Centre National de Cinématographie.
The exporters will be at the Riviera in Cannes, in a large common area, except for Adriana Chiesa Enterprises which will be returning to their offices at the Hotel Carlton.
“The companies attending this year are FilmExport Group, Intramovies, Minerva, Movietime, Surf and Variety”, explains Paola Corvino, the proprietor of Intramovies and president of the Unione Esportatori [Exporters’ Union].
“We haven’t scheduled any special events but the Italian companies will be presenting a packed program of top quality Italian and other screenings”.
So lots of people and numerous activities at La Croisette in support of Italian cinema which will, however, certainly be penalized by the excessive fragmentation and lack of synergy which is nothing new for our long sought-after but never realized national “movie system”.
“I think that the Italian presence in Cannes is dispersive and uncoordinated”, states Luciano Sovena, “and for that very reason, from next year or, more precisely, from the next Venice Film Festival, we plan to combine all of our forces and present ourselves as a single body at the service of Italian cinema, also in an effort to cut costs, to concentrate and optimize resources and to avoid pointless and costly overlapping”.
Paola Corvino agrees with the planned coordination and, whilst emphasizing that the institutional presence “has always had a qualitatively high profile”, she points out that “supporting the Italian movie industry is not a subject to be tackled at each individual festival or market.
Instead it is necessary to have a program of support to be structured throughout the year and, possibly, with three year plans at least, in collaboration with all the various bodies and institutions.
In any case, “˜support’ is not a word I like to apply to our movie industry which doesn’t need any crutches to help it stand up by itself, but rather the enthusiasm and drive that only coordinated and continuative programming can offer”.