It is time for the FVG Film Fund to have a full service: the first regional fund set up in Italy, in 2003 has got a new series of regulations. “We have made a variety of changes which had become necessary in order maintain and increase our competitiveness on the locations market”, explains Federico Poillucci, president of the FVG Film Commission, the structure that manages the Film Fund. Opening up more to big productions, paying more attention to the grow- th of local production, a great desire to “create a system” with stronger links to the FVG Audiovisual Fund: these are some of the elements of the new regulations which accentuate rather than modify the Fund’s dedication to the economic effects on the territory.
But let’s take things step by step.
The financial provision which, in 2011, reached 700,000 Euros, has been raised to 800,000 Euros (with the addition of 270,000 Euros for running the Film Commission).
The road traveled has not been an easy one: in fact, many will remember that, in 2012, the Regional Council at the time practically zeroed the contributions for the following year.
Then, with the new Council, the governor, Debora Serracchiani, made and maintained a commitment to supporting the Film Commission and Film Fund once again: she did this in two stages, with 400,000 Euros last December and another 600,000 Euros last spring, during the balancing of the financial statements. “Next year”, predicts Poillucci, “the Fund should reach 1 million Euros.”
In the newly recovered climate of trust between public administration and film commission, it has become possible to make significant improvements to the regulations.
“We have finally separated the requests for contributions for features and TV dramas from those for documentaries, shorts and video clips”. So, while the total amount of the contribution for the latter three formats is 30,000 Euros per individual work, the amount for features and TV dramas rises from 150 to 200,000 Euros. “We have raised the limit, and at the same time lowered the number of days of shooting necessary to obtain the funding from 35 to 24”, whilst the contribution of 70,000 Euros is triggered at under 24 days of filming (before, at least 25 days were necessary). “
This means,”, explains the president of the FVG, “that it is enough to film for just one day”, naturally respecting all the other conditions, the most important of which is the obligation to spend at least 150% of the contribution received in the territory”.
These changes favor productions with a greater capacity for expenditure and a lower number of days of filming.
The derogation of the “deminimis” system, the European rule that makes it impossible for the same beneficiary to receive more than 200,000 Euros in the space of three years, is also moving in this direction.
At the same time, along with the greater amount of attention being paid to “expenditure in the territory”, the new regulations offer a more decisive incentive for using local personnel, an item which, along with the “economic effects”, gets a higher score.
A more marked “sense of the territory” is also evidenced in the other requisites, such as the “FVG effect”, understood as the duration of filming in the territory in proportion to the total days of filming, with “effectiveness” understood to mean the potential of the work to reach its reference target (thus, it is important that the film be seen in addition to being produced), and drawing on the FVG Audiovisual Fund.
“For us, the Audiovisual Fund is like a blue sticker”, comments Poillucci, “because although our Film Fund continues to be characterized by the fact that it attracts external productions, we should not forget the movies made in FVG, like “Zoran my dumb nephew”, which have brought us a lot of satisfaction”. In formalizing the links with the FVG Audiovisual Fund, the complementary nature of the two Funds clearly emerges, one more attentive to the economic effects and the other to the growth of local creativity.
“It was not, however, possible to include among the criteria of eligibility,” notes Poillucci with regret, “the ‘green movie protocol” certification, because, to date, no formal definition has been formulated in Europe”
Poillucci is satisfied with the work carried out by the regional administrative bodies, whose jurisdiction on the subject still falls under Productive Activities but with the substantial involvement of the Department of Culture, assimilating the demands of local professionals, film-makers, producers and skilled workers who, a few years ago in Friuli Venezia Giulia, organized themselves into an association, the ALA (association of audiovisual workers of Friuli Venezia Giulia).
We would still obtain only a partial vision of “Friuli Venezia Giulia’s sense of audiovisuals” if we did not mention that Federico Poillucci’s long-term dream is starting to take shape – to draw up a different region than the one shown on the geo-political maps: the collaboration with the Viba Film Studios in Ljubljana.
“Ljubljana is 60 kilometers from Trieste, it takes less time to get there than to reach Cinecittà from the center of Rome and it has cutting- edge studio facilities. If we include the Viba Film Studios in our offer, which productions could use as though they were in FVG territory, our attractiveness would increase considerably. What would be lost in terms of the number of days of filming in our region would be gained in the number of movies we manage to attract”.
Poillucci spoke about this last July with Vojko Stopar, the director of the Ljubljana Studios. For the moment there is just a gentlemen’s agreement that allows the FVG Film Commission to fast track productions towards the studios in Ljubljana. A commercial proposal but, above all, a cultural disposition. Attempts to construct a new European region.
Or, better still, to reconstruct the old Central Europe.