Emilia-Romagna has always loved reality cinema and even before Law 20/2014 was passed, which reformed the Cinema and Audiovisual sectors in the region, it provided special support to documentaries and, above all, to the documentaries made by the new generations of video-makers through the Emilia-Romagna Film Commission.
By supporting, for example, the D.E-R – Documentaristi Emilia Romagna Association (50 operative registered members, half of which are young people) which, for over ten years, in partnership with the Regional Government and the Culture Department, has been realizing and promoting initiatives aimed at all documentary- makers, estimated to be over 500 lmmakers and producers, 50% of which are young persons.
In 2016 the Emilia-Romagna Film Commission directly supported the development of 4 documentaries and the realization of 9 (valid for national and international bids, as well as directed towards regional production companies) with a total regional contribution of almost € 307,000 to be spread over the 13 projects, the total budget of which exceeded € 1,200,000.00, that produced expenditure in the region of almost € 800,000.
More or less in the same period that the new cinema law was conceived, another important market rendezvous was also being launched inside the Biografilm Festival, an historic event linked to the city of Bologna and its Cineteca, the Bio to B directed by Andrea Romeo.
International professionals are offered 20 of the best documentary projects in production or post-production, of which at least 5 are from Emilia-Romagna (“selected together with the Region and the DER to protect regional products”), 10 Italian, and 5 foreign.
Around twenty national sellers are represented (including Le Pacte and American Magnolia), 9 of these make up a jury that will assign three awards to the best regional, Italian and European lm.
Moreover with the Biografia Film Festival’s proposal, documentaries play a central role even though Andrea Romeo does not particularly like categorizations: “For me the documentary is not a closed system but a great way of understanding a universe of narration to which the festival directs a lot of its attention in a non-exclusive manner. Certainly, the documentary vocation of cinema is a predominant feature of some films and film-makers, and there is a growing number of ambiguous products, but no less interesting for that reason”.
To support this, Romeo offers examples of titles that he distributes with his I Wonder Pictures (whose product list mainly includes documentaries and includes successes like the Oscar winners “Sugar Man” and “Citizen 4”, “ e Act of Killing”, “ e Gate keepers”, “ e Pearl Button” “ e Look of Silence”): ““Stop the pounding heart” by Roberto Minervini has attended some festivals in the documentary competition and others in the drama competition, and in both at the same time at San Sebastian, I think; “All these sleepless nights” by Michal Marczak won the documentary section of the Sundance and I consider it to be a drama, our generation’s “Jules et Jim”.
We have been working on it for months and it will be given a big launch”. Some of the most recent I Wonder titles are, “Life Animated”, “The Eagle Huntress”, which enjoyed extraordinary success in the USA, and “Vangelo” by Pippo del Bono”, which was very well received in Venice”