After the success of the States General of Italian Animation organized by Cartoon Italia and Asifa Italia in collaboration with ANICA on 1 March in Rome, and in expectation of the second day on the same topics scheduled to be held in Venice during Rai’s Cartoons on the Bay festival, Cinema & Video International talks to the president of Cartoon Italia, Anne- Sophie Vanhollebeke, about the main issues put forward by national and European legislators for relaunching the sector.
“We have received many affiliation requests after the day event”, begins Vanhollebeke.
Good news for the association of Italian animation producers belonging to the ANICA [National Association of Audiovisual Theatrical Industries], which counts 12 companies among its members. This is a sector which, according to the association’s own data, in Italy includes 81 companies actively involved in animation production, 45 of which are “service providers”.
Some of the studios that make their professional skills available to third party clients recently set up an association and founded Animation Italia which groups together 16 audiovisual production and multimedia companies involved in animation and the relevant production chain, at the same time signing an agreement with Asseprim – Confcommercio Imprese.
“This is all very positive”, says Vanhollebeke, “in this way we can represent the whole production chain at institutional tables together.
Asifa Italia (Ed: national association of animated filmmakers and professionals) has signed an agreement with 100autori (Ed: the association of cinema and television writers), we have done the same with Anica [Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries] and Animation Italia has done likewise with Asseprim. If this is the blueprint, we have everything to gain, but it is important that our goals and the roles of the individual associations are clear”.
All the various associations have welcomed the new audiovisuals bill which was approved by the Italian government at the end of January, as well as the transformation of Rai into a media company announced by the new CEO, Antonio Campo Dall’Orto.
The latter was a particularly welcome guest at the Rome meeting and producers are expecting him to pay particular attention to the reform and reorganization of the public service’s concession.
“The work plan I am building”, Rai’s CEO told the States General in March, “finds one of its clearest and most interesting forms in the ani- mation sector” which represents “one of our next challenges”.
With regard to the bill, among other things it accepts the request for a project development fund. “This will make all the difference”, says the president of Cartoon, “up until now, unlike the French who are able to draw on numerous ad hoc funds, all we had was the “activation” of a project by Rai.
As everyone knows, animation projects cost a great deal and we have to be farsighted and certain that they will meet with the approval of a public that will only see them in two or three years’ time. Even the focus groups used by many have a cost, and we should not forget that the success of our series is the starting point for another type of business: the licensing and merchandising”.