We are so often told that co- productions benefit the international circulation of lms, that it almost seems self-evident.
But is it really true?
This is one of the questions that the MEDIA Salles analysis on the exportation of Italian films decided to answer.
Of the 370 titles, including majority and minority co- productions, released on the big screen in Italy in 2014 and 2015, 17% had been distributed in at least one foreign country and 12.2% in more than one at 30 June 2016.
Well over half (65.1%) of these films are 100% Italian productions, whilst majority
co-productions amount to 28.6% and minority to 6.3%.
Amongst majority co-productions there is a prevalence of films made exclusively with France (55.6% of the total) or with France and other countries (27.8%).
If we look merely at the quantity of titles that have crossed the Italian borders, co-productions would not seem to play a decisive role.
A more careful look, taking into account the number of foreign markets reached, reveals, instead, a quite different situation.
In the period under examination, on average the all-Italian productions reached a far lower number of foreign markets (2.4), compared to majority co-productions (14.7 markets).
The difference is even more strongly marked in the case of minority co-productions, which were seen on average on 25.3 markets.
On analyzing the films released in Italy in 2014 (Tab.1), only one all-Italian production, Winx Club: Il Mistero degli Abissi (The Mystery of the Abyss), makes the top five titles in terms of the number of foreign countries reached in distribution, with a total of 15 foreign markets.
A better result was obtained by two minority co-productions, Grace of Monaco and Pasolini, respectively in 1st and 4th place, which were distributed on 55 and 18 foreign markets, and by two majority co-productions, Il capitale umano (Human Capital) and
Le meraviglie ( The Wonders), respectively in 2nd and 3rd place with 32 and 21 foreign markets.
Amongst the titles released in Italy in 2015 (Tab 2), no 100% Italian production has a place in the top five in terms of number of foreign markets reached in distribution.
Majority co-productions do: Youth stands in 1st place (41 foreign markets), followed by Mia madre (My Mother) in 2nd place (33 markets), A Bigger Splash and Padri e Figlie (Sons and Daughters) (30 markets each) and lastly Il racconto dei racconti ( e Tale of Tales) (23 markets).
The initial figures available on films released in Italy in the first half of 2016 show that distribu- tion rights for 5 all-Italian films had been bought by a significant number of countries:
Quo Vado? (13 markets), La corrispondenza ( The Correspondence) (10), Veloce come il vento (Italian Race) (9), Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot ( They Call me Jeeg) (7) and Un bacio (One Kiss) (2).
In conclusion, whilst observing a situation that may vary quite significantly from year to year, it can be confirmed that co-production is an important tool not only for making it easier to cover the financing needed to make the film but also for opening up broader horizons for distribution.