To incentivize buying and promote our products, with the end objective being sales: this is the formula put together by the Fondazione Roberto Rossellini per l’Audiovisivo [Roberto Rossellini Foundation for Audiovisuals] to increase the diffusion of Italian audiovisuals around the world and offer a realistic response to the age-old question of the internationalization “” i.e. exportation “” of our domestic products, which have never been very competitive on foreign markets.
“The idea is to revise the method used to promote the Italian film industry on an international level”, explains Francesco Gesualdi, the president of the Foundation, “by focusing on the business side as well as the cultural aspects.
As we have seen, the policy of using delegations and showcases is not enough. At a moment of international crisis and considering the difficulties normally encountered by Italian products attempting to penetrate foreign markets, we need to move our resources in other directions in order to grab the attention of the people who will be distributing and showing our movies in theaters. For this reason, we have decided to incentivize our interlocutors and facilitate local distribution channels by providing movies that have already been subtitled and creating a business model for the exhibitors which encourages them to support Italian products”.
The chosen territory is Asia, where the boundless Chinese and Indian markets offer important and yet unexplored opportunities.
Plus the United Arab Emirates, where audiovisuals could help the growth and diffusion of “made in Italy” products throughout the Middle East and the Gulf States.
“Our policy”, continues Gesualdi, “will be one of small steps, as we don’t have unlimited resources for this type of activity, but it will still be extremely pragmatic. All too often we been reprimanded for the lack of coordination in our foreign excursions and for making big announcements without following them up. Today the problem is mainly one of credibility, because there is a lot of skepticism in these countries and we have to show that we are taking things seriously.
For this reason we are willing to work with other Italian structures whose mission is internationalization, such as Cinecittà Luce and the ICE “”Italian Foreign Trade Commission“.
While we wait for the creation of an Agency for the promotion of Italian movies abroad:
“We don’t want to be top of the class, but we have to highlight the urgency and necessity of rationalizing Italian interventions on an international level. When Italia Cinema was set up over ten years ago to coordinate promotional activities abroad, the premises were the same, but there was a lack of will and strength (first and foremost political strength) to go all the way, to give the new structure a strong guiding role.
Italia Cinema did its best, despite having to cope with a series of disorganized foreign initiatives that lost sight of the uniqueness of the intervention, an essential tool for conquering international markets. After that, foreign promotion contributions continued to be scattered around here and there, mainly targeting cultural type events, resulting in an increased dispersal of the various initiatives which is one of the main criticisms aimed at Italy”.
The Foundation’s operational tool for improving the internationalization skills of made in Italy products and support the professional community in the audiovisual and multimedia sector is the Osservatorio Internazionale Roberto Rossellini sull’Audiovisivo e la Multimedialità – International Roberto Rossellini Observatory on Audiovisuals and Multimedia which was recently presented in Rome, the new laboratory dedicated to analysis, research, ongoing monitoring and international comparisons of the audiovisual market and new media realized in collaboration with IsICult (Istituto Italiano per l’Industria Culturale “” Italian Institute for the Cultural Industry) and the Luiss Business School.
The Observatory’s job will be to provide data and suggestions for increasing our understanding of current international trends in the field of audiovisuals, “a way of looking at how our products get into movie theaters and onto television in other countries, the amount of turnover they produce, what works well and what people expect from us. The Foundation hopes that this instrument will help the community of sector operators to do a better job in the future”.
In the meantime, the Foundation has confirmed its now well-established rendezvous with the RomaFictionFest (promoted by the Fondazione Rossellini, the Chamber of Commerce of Rome and the APT “” Italian Association of TV Producers, in collaboration with the ICE and Sviluppo Lazio), now in its fourth edition, which will be held in the capital from 5th “” 10th July in the Auditorium on Via della Conciliazione, the Adriano multiplex and the Università Lumsa.
The strength of this event, which is unparalleled on the international scene, is the combination of a competitive festival, glamourous events for the general public, conferences for sector operators and a market featuring products and ideas for the small screen.
The new features for this edition include the creation of a Cittadella della Fiction “” Drama Citadel between Saint Peter’s Cathedral and Castel Sant’Angelo which, for over a month, before and during the RomaFictionFest, will host big screens, concert stages, game libraries and areas dedicated to the crafts of drama and moviemaking.
Plus, for enthusiasts of vintage TV, the retrospective exhibition “Giallo in Bianco e Nero “” Omaggio ad Andrea Camilleri” will showcase the television “presence” of writer Andrea Camilleri from the 60s to the present day.
Encouraged by the success of its “zero” edition last year, the Industry Week confirms its role as an international showcase for Italian products and an opportunity for encounter and exchange between operators from the main international networks dedicated to developing co-production projects – an increasingly tempting solution for this recession hit industry.
For the second consecutive year the RomaFictionFest will also be hosting another session of the Word Economic Forum which “” following the debate at the 2009 edition between Media sector leaders on the challenges and prospects offered by the content and platforms of the future “” will probably be turning to the thorny topic of audiovisual piracy.
The Foundation is planning to transport the model used for the RomaFictionFest beyond national borders: “We are thinking of exporting the RomaFictionFest to the world by realizing shows and showcases that will bring Italian products to the markets most dear to our hearts”, explains Francesco Gesualdi.
“The mechanism will be the method already tried and tested last January in New York during the Rai Italian Fiction Week which gave excellent results in terms of a greater intensification of relations with international sector operators”.
In the meantime, the RomaFictionFest team “” led by artistic director Steve Della Casa and chief executive Michele Misuraca “” will be attending Mip Tv, along with top ranking members from the Fondazione Rossellini, where they will announce the first titles for the festival’s fourth edition.
The Foundation’s activities continue with the Regione Lazio delegation in Brussels that offers support to Italian production companies attempting to find their way through the intricacies of obtaining financing from the European Union, particularly with regard to audiovisual training and, in just a few days’ time, information will be made available on-line about how to access Lazio’s regional calls for tender as well as the instruments made available, on a regional and national level, for financing the audiovisual industry, the operational arm of the new Sportello Cinema from the Fondazione Rossellini.