The Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste is on track again. “We have put ourselves back on the market, since last November we have been working at breakneck speed”. After the structure underwent a few months of stalemate (since last October it has had un new president, Simone Gandolfo), the director Alessandra Miletto is determined to make up for lost time, restarting the organizational machine and beginning work on new projects in line with the audiovisual identity of the Val d’Aosta that is strongly tied to the territory. “A small yet very complex territory” clarifies Miletto, a specificity that is translated into the quality of the services: “it allows us to be rapid and efficient from both a logistical as well as a bureaucratic and administrative point of view”.
She cites as an example the response provided, last December, to the production of “Trust”, the US TV series directed by Danny Boyle: “the line producer was urgently looking for a snow-covered road with characteristics that the Valle d’Aosta could offer. We immediately thought of the Gran San Bernardo road which had no vehicles in it because in that period the tunnel was closed for technical reasons”. Half a day was enough to make the decision in concert with the Regional government and SITRASB, the tunnel management company: after two days of on site inspections and within the space of a week, the crew was at the location. “ the filming – it was the last few days of work on the series – only took a couple of days, but there was a “heavy” crew despite it being the second unit”.
The Valle d’Aosta is a small and valuable region that features impressive natural landscapes as well as a highly significant historic and artistic heritage. Aosta is defined as the “Rome of the Alps” due to its wealth of monumental treasures (it was founded in 25 BC with the name of Augusta Praetoria), and the whole region vaunts around twenty medieval, Renaissance and 19th century castles which can be used for filming.
“Another great asset” continues Miletto, “is that the historic locations owned by the Regional government are provided free of charge or at extremely advantageous conditions. Among our future commitments we have added tours for filmmakers and producers to the calendar: we will accompany them as they discover our land and the opportunities that we can offer”. Following a trend that is common to the most active film commissions, the mission of Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste is not limited to offering locations: “We are working on a development fund”.
The new fund, which will be set up soon (“we need to rewrite the regulations: the law dates back to 2010 and needs to be up- dated”), will ank the existing one dedicated to supporting national and international productions filming in the region with a privileged window on documentaries. The latter is a genre that links production to training within a strategy that aims to grow local professionals paying particular attention to young talents. Infact, last November, the Vallée d’Aoste DOC Film Fund open call was reopened and, in the same month, the second edition of FrontDoc was held, the festival devoted to documentaries and border cinema supported by the Film Commission within which it has created FrontLab.
In 2017 the overall allocation amounted to € 750,000 (of which 300,000 allocated to the Fund) and the gures should be around same in 2018: “ this means being able to increase the resources for training both of professionals and in schools” and to carry out scouting activities with the objective of supporting young filmmakers:
“In addition to the big Markets and international Festivals, we are preparing for the European Film Market in Berlin which for us is the first occasion for an international relaunch with the opportunity to meet producers and filmmakers and let them know that the Film Commission is fully operational again. However we are also very interested in more modestsized circuits where there are many occasions for discovering new projects”.
Miletto cites as an example the Torino Film Lab and the Turin Short Film Market held last fall and When East Meets West that has recently ended in Trieste: places where lms take shape, projects without a big production behind them but often with good ideas for which support is also useful in order to activate the production participation of other partners.
Another characteristic of the Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste emerges here: its propensity for “networking”, in first place with the other Film Commissions with which, Miletto assures us, there is a relationship of collaboration as members of the association of Italian Film Commissions, as well as in the form already tested in the successful experiences with “TIR” by Alberto Fasulo, supported by the Film Commissions of Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Friuli Venezia Giulia and Alto Adige, and the aforementioned “Sagre Balere” by Alessandro Stevanon, supported by the open calls for documentaries of Valle d’Aosta, Piedmont, Liguria and Emilia Romagna.
In addition to this support, Alessandra Miletto and the president of the Film Commission, Simone Gandolfo, are looking at other forms of collaboration between film commissions, “possibly something more: we are looking for synergies”.