LEGGI IN ITALIANO
Whilst Film Commissions and Film Funds have added value to the region, the complementary activities of the Fondo Audiovisivo FVG have been crucial for creating a backdrop of creativity, entrepreneurship and expertise in the audiovisual field, contributing to making this one of the most interesting regions in Italy.
“10 years ago”, Alberto Fasulo, a director and producer from Friuli tells Cinema & Video International, “I emigrated to Rome to follow this trade. Then I realized that, in order to really be able to practice it, I had to go home: the production system created by the Film Commission and the Audiovisual Fund has made it possible for me, and many others, to come back, to grow as producers and to interface with Europe and international markets”.
In fact, his “TIR” is a very international story, halfway between documentary and fiction. It is about an Eastern European worker, from Croatia, who leaves his job as a teacher to be a truck driver in the West so that he can earn four or five times the amount he got before.He spends 25 days a month on a truck traveling along “Corridor 5”.
Corridor 5 is one of the main highway axes of Europe which, according to the plans of the European Union, will join Lisbon to Kiev. It is the conveyor belt along which “matter flows” (to quote the expression used by the author when talking to Cinema & Video International), where “matter” refers to the goods that contain people and their humanity.
Two contrasting flows cross this corridor: the manpower traveling from east to west, and the capital migrating from west to east.
“I did 3 and a half years of research, traveling on trucks alongside the drivers, in order to understand the reasons for choosing such an extreme lifestyle”, says Fasulo, who is attracted by this “new form of territory-free migration”.
A large part of the movie was filmed inside the cab of a truck: a non-place, the staging of which required the support of a number of regional bodies. A co-production between Italy (Nadia Trevisan and Alberto Fasulo for Nefertiti), Croatia (Irena Markovic for Focus Media) and Slovenia (Igor Pedicek for Casablanca), 4 Italian film commissions were involved in the movie: Val d’Aosta, Piedmont, Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. After being “discovered” by Cecilia Valmarana during the planning phase, “TIR” has already been pre-purchased by Rai Cinema.
The ongoing international theme that unites the stories Cinema & Video International has discovered in Friuli Venezia Giulia continues all the way to the Ukraine, marking the country’s first co-production with Italy.
“Easy” is a road movie by Trieste’s Andrea Magnani, in which the leading character Isidoro (Easy), a failed, overweight forty year old, is on a mission: to bring the hearse containing a Ukrainian builder who died in Italy back to his homeland. “Easy” has a budget of around 1,600,000 Euros and will begin filming in spring 2014 near Grado, and in the Carpathian mountains of Ukraine.
The Ukrainians will cover 70% of the budget.
The Italian share will include support from the MiBAC – Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities (awarded to debut works), regional Funds (FVG Audiovisuals and the Film Commission) and an internal as well as a (smaller) external Tax Credit
Some interest has also been shown by Rai Cinema.
Magnani who, together with Bartelby is also the producer of “Easy”, with the Pilgrim Film brand set up in 2008, says:
“We were also able to co-produce “Easy” thanks to the FVG Audiovisual Fund because this screenplay, which I wrote myself, was developed during a European workshop in Greece, MFI Script 2 Film, which I was able to attend thanks to a grant provided by the Fund in 2010.
That was where I met the person who subsequently became our co-producer, the Ukrainian Oleg Scherbina (Fresh Production)”.
Magnani’s Pilgrim is also working on another project, “in which we are the majority producers alongside Film Berg of Bolzano”.
“This movie”, explains Magnani, “is completely set in Alto Adige and received development financing from the BLS and the FVG Audiovisual Fund”.
“Kaloghero, un’altra vita” is a comedyof errors directed by Davide del Degan and Magnani himself. It is about a person on a witness protection program who is sent to a remote valley of the Alto Adige, where he lives in terror of being followed by a killer. “We are still in the pre-production stage and are currently concluding a co-production agreement with a German company”.
We return to real life cinema with Videomante, a production house founded in 2004 at Cividale del Friuli by sociologist Erica Barbiani and Elena Vera Tomasin, an anthropologist. Barbiani highlights the usefulness of the strategy adopted by the FVG Audiovisual Fund that combines funding for training and development.
This made it possible for her to take part in the European Eurodoc training workshop, marking her entry into the world of European documentary production.
She explains: “It was there that I met the commissioning edi- tor of Arté and our documentary “La Rosa diValentino” (produced in 2012 with a 40,000 Euro contribution from the Fund) was broadcast in France, Germany and Japan. There they explained to me that even such a small story can have European potential and access additional funding”.
The story is about Valentino, a pensioner who gives his wife Eleonora thirty rose plants for their thirtieth wedding anniversary: this provides the foundation for the creation of what is today one of the biggest gardens in the world.
Last August the Videomante brand presented “The Special Need” at the Locarno International Film Festival 2013 in the Film-makers of the Present section.
This is the story of Enea, a 29 year old autistic man who, together with his two best friends, travels across Europe looking for a sexual relationship that he has never experienced. The director is Carlo Zoratti, originally from Udine but now resident in Berlin. “For this reason,” comments Erica Barbiani, “it is a very Friulian documentary, but also very international”. Videomante is the minority producer in a co-production with Germany’s Henning Kamm of Detail Film, ZDF and RAI3.
The 70,000 Euro contribution provided by the FVG Audiovisual Fund, was vital for allowing Videomante to take part in the project, “to be a real and not a ‘ghost’ producer”, says Barbiani, who announced that Parisian distributor Wide House, has shown interest in the cinema release of the documentary.
The 2011 edition of the Locarno Festival awarded a Golden Leopard, again in the Film-makers of the Present section, to the documentary “L’estate di Giacomo”, Alessandro Comodin’s debut work.
This started out as a local movie – an “apprenticeship of senses” about two young people on the banks of the Tagliamento river – and went on to develop on a European level in co-production with France and Belgium.
Once again the making of this 300,000 Euro movie produced by Faber Film was guaranteed by the FVG Audiovisual Fund both during the development phase (20,000 Euros), and the distribution (45,000).
Faber Film was founded in 2007 by Paolo Benzi, Alberto Fasulo and Alessandro Rossetto. The company, which produced “Rumore Bianco” by Fasulo, has now been dissolved and the founders are continuing to make movies separately.
We have already mentioned Fasulo and his Nefertiti; Alessandro Rossetto made his feature debut directing “Piccola Patria” which was selected for the Orizzonti section at Venezia .70, whilst Benzi’s new company, Okta Film, co-produced the documentary “Redemption” by Portugal’s Miguel Gomes, which was also presented at the Film Festival, out of competition.
Our brief trip to Friuli Venezia Giulia ends with Faber and its offshoots: Tucker Film, Transmedia, Pilgrim Film, Nefertiti,
Videomante and Slingshot are the jewels of the creative flow which has found a suitable out- let in audiovisuals.
But they are not the only ones: we could go on to mention, for example, Laura Pellicciari’s KineoFilm, whose feature “Voci nel buio”, directed by Rodolfo Bisatti was launched in the movie theaters of the Veneto and Friuli regions at the beginning of the year, continuing its public journey at international events, from Los Angeles to Shanghai (as we reported here a few months ago); or Antonella Perrucci’s Galaxia which, in addition to casting, produced “Habibi” by Davide del Degan, winning a Silver Ribbon for best short film in 2011.
A sense of a community emerges with a European vocation that finds its identity in audiovisuals.
Finally, it is probably not a coincidence that an organization such as the AGPCI, the association of young independent producers, which is strongly committed to a new way of making movies, has strong roots in Friuli Venezia Giulia (members include Princic, Magnani and Pellicciari).
THE FVG AUDIOVISUAL FUND
The objective of the FVG Audiovisual Fund is to promote the development of local companies in the audiovisual sector and contribute to the qualification of related professional resources.
Directed by Paolo Vidali, the Fund was set up in Udine in 2007, with funding from the Office for Productive Activities of the Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia. It provides contributions for training, as well as the development of projects and their distribution.
A review of the 6th year of activity shows that support was provided to 181 projects, consisting of movies, shorts, documentaries and TV series, with a total contribution of around 2,350,000 Euros, equal to around 25% of the projects’ budgets.
More than 20 projects were European co-productions with France, Germany, Belgium, Slovenia, Croatia and Switzerland. In these six years the fund has financed 30 companies and 8 associations.
Alongside the ordinary activity of providing financial support to local companies, the Fund organizes a series of international events with the aim of creating new training opportunities for professionals in the region.
While When East Meets West, which has been held in Trieste every year since 2010, has become one of the principal co-production meetings between the cinema industries of Eastern and Western Europe, Eave-Ties That Bind, held in Udine since 2009, is dedicated to Asian and European producers.
Particularly useful, for training purposes, is the collaboration initiated in 2009 with Eurodoc, the most important European training course for documentary professionals.
The project was developed together with the Slovenian National Cinema Fund and the Croatian National Cinema Fund, boosting the exchange of professionals in southeastern Europe.