Established seven years ago, Friuli Venezia Giulia pioneered Regional Funds for Cinema in Italy, investing very early on in the theatrical potential of its own region and becoming an example for others.
“We were the first to experiment with a Fund in Italy”, points out Federico Poillucci, president of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission, “so the only precedents we had were international ones. In order to set up our Film Fund, we looked at the French model which “” with its regional and municipal Funds “” we felt was the system closest and most easily applicable to our own, as we were too far removed from the type of funding provided by the federalist German system.
The most difficult part was to make local government understand that the money allocated was being invested, particularly at the beginning, when it was still not clear that there could be an automatic return of 1 to 8.
Over the last few years, however, the situation has changed radically and national cutbacks have led to the configuration of a new territorial offer”.
With funding of 600,000 Euros per year, the FVG Film Fund “” which assigns cash contributions that vary according to the length of time the production companies stay in the region, ranging from a minimum of 5,000 Euros to a maximum of 140,000 Euros “” has financed, amongst others, important movies such as “Come Dio comanda” (As God Commands) by Gabriele Salvatores, “La ragazza del lago” (The girl by the lake) by Andrea Molaioli, “that started out as a small movie which we really believed in”, comments Poillucci, “and went on to become an event”, or the Bulgarian “The World is Big”, a movie “” never released in Italy “” that reached the final selection for the Oscar for Best Foreign Movie; plus, for television, the Rai mini-series “C’era una volta la città dei matti” (Once upon a time the city of fools) by Marco Turco, a Ciao Ragazzi production about the extraordinary experiences of Franco Basaglia and his revolutionary work reforming Italian mental institutions. “Over the years, in 80-85% of cases, the Fund, which, right from the very first year led to a tripling of the number of days spent filming in the territory, has helped Italian productions which constitute the biggest slice of the demand.
The remaining 15% went to international projects, mainly of Austrian, German and Slovenian origin, territories that, due to their geographical proximity, consider us to be their natural access to the sea”.
From 2007, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission has had a new Fondo Regionale per l’Audiovisivo “” Regional Fund for Audiovisuals financed by the Region’s Department of Production Activities.
The Fund was created in order to develop local audiovisual production companies and contribute to the qualification of professional resources in the territory.
“We felt that a Fund dedicated to training, development and distribution”, concludes Poillucci, “would complete our intervention.
And I would say that it has been a pivotal initiative because the production segment was not very well developed in our Region and there were various film-makers, particularly in the documentary field, who needed a boost in this direction”.