The year opened with Fai bei sogni (Sweet dreams) present in a variety of countries, ranging from the Spanish peninsula and Scandinavia to Greece, Hungary, the UK and Estonia.
Released in November, the lm by internationally famed director Marco Bellocchio, had already reached the big screen in France, Belgium and the Netherlands, as well as Brazil, by the end of 2016.
In the coming weeks release dates for Finland, Denmark, Argentina and Germany are already scheduled, whilst a couple of dozen other markets have bought the rights but not yet announced their release schedules.
Fuocoammare (Fire at sea), too, which in the first few months of 2017 continued on its path across borders, has come to markets of considerable importance on the international scene, such as Mexico in January and Japan in February, to continue towards Central-Eastern Europe, reaching Estonia, and towards Latin America, reaching Uruguay and Colombia.
A further twenty or so countries have yet to announce their release dates.
Quo vado? and La pazza gioia (Like crazy) are in a similar situation: following their 2016 intercontinental tours, the former lm reached Spain in April and Denmark in May, the latter Hungary in January, later continuing to Spain and Poland in March and Denmark in April. In May Virzì’s film will add Finland and Colombia to its countries of release, as well as Sweden in June, whilst the dates of release are being awaited in over twenty more markets.
Around fifteen countries are still waiting to see the international success Perfetti sconosciuti (Perfect strangers), whilst the following 2017 releases are already known: Hong Kong, Poland, Australia and Slovenia (January), Russia and Israel (February) Finland (March), Japan, Portugal and Bulgaria (April), Sweden and Argentina (May).
The first few venues of 2017 are also known for Le Confessioni ( The confessions), which had already reached fifteen or so markets in 2016.
The film will be out in Taiwan, France and Estonia in January, Spain in May, the USA and Canada in July.
Distributors in about a dozen more countries, including several in the Balkans and, outside Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, yet have to announce release dates.
After an initial career abroad in 2016, Veloce come il vento (Italian race) will be distributed in Germany in June.
Here again, dates are not yet forthcoming for several other releases.
Again with respect to lms that came out in Italy in 2016, in April 2017 Mine reached the United States, Non essere cattivo (Don’t be bad) came to Germany, Spira Mirabilis to Switzerland. Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot (They call me Jeeg), expected in May in France and Japan, reached Germany in February, whilst dates on more than a dozen other markets in three di erent continents yet have to be announced.
In a similar situation is Un bacio (A kiss): in January it was in Germany, in March in the Netherlands and in April in France. Rights have also been purchased in about a dozen more countries. 7 minuti, distributed in Italy in November, is shortly expected to appear abroad, in Switzerland, in May. It will later be coming to France in August.
In April the latter country was the first foreign market to be reached by La ragazza del mondo (Worldly girl), whilst in March the same could be said for Fiore.
Belgium and the Netherlands, will instead be the destinations for Indivisibili (Indivisible) expected, on dates that yet have to be announced, on another four markets. In May Brazil will distribute L’estate addosso (Summertime), which also boasts a series of distributors in around a dozen more countries.
Whilst we have been talking up to now about Italy’s 2016 releases, there are several cases of films produced in previous years that have continued their international career in 2017.
One example is I nostri ragazzi ( The dinner), which in January added Argentina to the list of its foreign markets since December 2014 (France), i.e. three months after its Italian début. Produced in 2015, in January 2017 Suburra saw Germany enter the list of European countries it travelled to in 2015 and 2016.
Whilst these cases confirm the slow distribution process of Italian films abroad, already discussed here last November, there are instead a few examples that seem to be the exception to this firmly consolidated trend.
L’ora legale, which appeared on the big screen in Italy on 19 January, was released in Italian-speaking Switzerland at the beginning of February, whilst it will be on the Greek market in June.
Mister Felicità achieved contemporary release in Italy and in Canton Ticino at the start of January and, a few days later, in German-speaking Switzerland. Confirmation that for the release of Italian films, Italian- speaking Switzerland is considered to be more or less an extension of the Bel Paese, also comes from Smetto quando voglio – Masterclass, which in February, in the space of two weeks, was seen by spectators both in Italy and in Canton Ticino.
An even faster result for Classe Z in March, with simultaneous release in Italy and in Canton Ticino.
Amongst the films involving countries other than Italian-speaking Switzerland, appears Mister Universo which, within a month and a half, between March and April, came out in Italy and then in France, as well as Rosso Istanbul (Istanbul Kirmizisi), Ozpetek’s film, which debuted on 2nd March in Italy and on the 16th in Germany, and lastly Lasciati andare, released in Italy on 13th April and in Spain on the 28th.
It is to be hoped, then, that these positive beginnings are followed up by an international circulation that cuts the number of days it takes an Italian film to reach the big screens in another country.
From the MEDIA Salles research on 370 titles released in cinemas in Italy in 2014-2015, this took an average of 144 days (166 excluding lms distributed in Italian-speaking Switzerland alone).
More rapid international circulation would bring nothing but benefits both to the industry and to spectators, for example allowing a film to make the most of the media echo produced by festivals and awards.