The memorandum of understanding for the promotion of the Belt and Road Initiative project (the new Silk Road) signed by the two countries during the visit to Italy of the Chinese president Xi Jinping last March, turned the spotlights back on the commercial and cultural relations between Italy and China, offering a chance to remember that, as often happens, cinema and audiovisuals were the forerunners.
In fact Project China has been in existence for three years – entrusted to ANICA (Italian Association of Cinematographic Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries) by the MiBAC (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and MiSE (Italian Ministry of Economic Development).
While referring you HERE for a brief note on the characteristics of the project, we can report the announced presence at Focus Italia during the Beijing Festival from April 16 to 20 of the MiBAC undersecretary for audiovisuals, Lucia Borgonzoni, who will lead the delegation of producers taking part in the co-production Forum organized with the China Film Co-production Corporation and will be launching the Leonardo celebrations in China.
On that occasion a framework agreement will be signed with the rich and emerging Province of Hainan to support the diffusion of Italian cinema in the region in movie theaters as well as through the organization of a Focus Italia at the next edition of the Hainan Festival in December.
I believe that the exchanges between the Italian audiovisual industry and the Chinese market, undoubtedly favored by the recent agreement between the two countries, should be placed within a broader context recently characterized by a strong move towards internationalization, with interventions targeted towards both the East and the West of the world.
This consideration is boosted by the announcements regarding the 4th Focus on China scheduled to be held at the next Venice Film Festival where, following an agreement signed with the MPAA, the meeting will be extended to the United States.
In the light of the reservations recently expressed by the US administration about the famous memorandum signed in Rome, this could lead us to think (and hope) that, once again, cinema will be ahead of its time.