direttore Paolo Di Maira

ITALIANS AT THE EFM/An (Almost) Perfect Market

There is no question about it: after the “impregnable” Cannes comes the European Film Market, the most significant event for our exporters who choose to present their latest top products at the Berlinale market, traditionally dedicated to quality European movies.

“Berlin is a central platform for European films. The buyers are right for us and it is held in a restricted area which facilitates exchanges and meetings”, says Adriana Chiesa.
“We can make contacts in a dimension which offers the perfect balance between festival and market and involves lots of young people. Within the panorama of European markets, only Cannes comes before Berlin, followed, we hope, by the Rome Festival’s “Business Street”, now validated by the second edition featuring a greater participation of sector operators and excellent organization”.

Adriana Chiesa Enterprises will be bringing a number of important new products to the EFM such as “Riprendimi” by Anna Negri, which was screened at Sundance:
“This is a very interesting movie in terms of the way it was filmed and the subject matter.
It is a contemporary love story that reflects our times, where the problems of temporary employment move beyond the workplace to affect private lives”.
Then there are movies like “Giorni e nuvole” by Silvio Soldini (which we took to the American Film Market but did not screen), “Piano, solo” by Riccardo Milani, based on the novel by Walter Veltroni, “Il dolce e l’amaro” by Andrea Porporati, the documentary “Madri” by Barbara Cupisti and the animation “La storia di Leo” by Mario Cambi.
Plus “Family Game” by Alfredo Arciero, starring Stefano Dionisi and Sandra Ceccarelli.
The “repeats” from Adriana Chiesa include “Maradona “” La mano de Dios”, “Rosso Malpelo”, the Swiss documentary “Glorious Exit” “” about a young man who, after the death of his father, travels from Los Angeles to Nigeria to find his roots “” and the Swiss “Roulette” by Mohammed Soudani, which tells the story of the meeting between a rich young man and an Albanian immigrant.
And finally, “Io, l’altro” by Mohsen Melliti, produced by and starring Raoul Bova.

Rai Trade and its sales manager, Sesto Cifola, are also backing the rendezvous in Berlin which “comes at an exceptional moment, corresponding as it does with the return to business after the Christmas break.
February is an excellent time and the EFM is very practical on an organizational as well as a structural level, especially for those who, like us, do not attend the American Film Market in Los Angeles”.

 Rai’s export company will be at the Martin Gropius Bau with a number of titles available in two versions – TV and theatrical “” including
“I vicerè” by Roberto Faenza, and “Caravaggio” by Angelo Longoni, as well as “Hotel Meina” by Carlo Lizzani, which was presented at the Venice Film Festival as part of a special event dedicated to the director.
The 35 mm docu-film, “Forse Dio è malato” by Franco Brogi Taviani, based on the African travel diaries of Walter Veltroni, will be premiered and, finally, there will be the English version of a number of animated works currently in great market demand, like “Johan Padan a la descoverta de le Americhe” by Giulio Cingoli.
“Recently the EFM has opened up to a different, more commercial type of product, whilst still maintaining its prerogative as a quality market”, explains Cifola, “but adding something more. I feel that this is a positive move: a great festival has to have an important business section and why not include products from Hollywood as well?”

Roberto Di Girolamo of Filmexport Group thinks very differently.
He has long been convinced that the EFM is becoming too “generic” to the detriment of the European identity and quality that has always been its strongest feature.
“I actually believe there are too many markets, especially when, thanks to the Internet, the ways in which contacts and sales are made are changing, and operators can establish an ongoing dialogue with each other.
We have to adapt to these changes and restrict ourselves to four dates a year, making them stronger, because constantly moving from one country to another incurs costs without guaranteeing an adequate return.
I would only save Cannes “” both the movie and TV markets “” Berlin, and maybe I would bring the AFM back to March”.

Filmexport is bringing the following titles to Berlin: “Destiny Ride “” La donna di nessuno” by Vincenzo Marano, the animated feature “L’arca di Noè”, the Spanish co-production “Ti piace il piccante?” by Dolores Palla, with Gabriella Pession, Rocco Papaleo and Anna Galiena, “Zombies – The Beginning”, a horror movie by Bruno Mattei, and “Liscio” which, despite not being a new title, has seen a lot of action in recent months.

Overcrowding, especially in the fall when business opportunities like the Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian film festivals overlap with each other, is a problem shared by many Italian exporters.
However, they still believe that Rome’s “Business Street” “” now in its second edition – constitutes an equally valid proposal: “The event is growing and we are continuing to support it”, says Sesto Cifola of Rai Trade.
“The Rome festival is the artistic and popular event the market needs. But we have to focus attention on the product: if I have an important movie and take it to Rome, I can sell it in just the same way as if I’d taken it to Berlin or Cannes because the key players are all there, mainly because we Italian exporters worked with the organizers of “Business Street” to select the operators to be invited”.

Paola Corvino’s Intramovies demonstrates the attention it pays to the Berlin event by presenting a market first, “La ragazza del lago” by Andrea Molaioli, following its success at the “Settimana della Critica” in Venice, and the excellent, and almost unexpected, box office figures. “We will also be presenting “Anita” by Aurelio Grimaldi, a theatrical movie which should be released by Istituto Luce, about Giuseppe Garibaldi’s partner, on the bicentenary of her death; the dramatic Turkish movie by Abdullah Oguz, “Bliss”, Fabio Tagliavia’s debut “Cardiofitness”, starring Nicoletta Romanoff, and “Sleeping around”, a bittersweet Italian comedy by Marco Carniti, starring Anna Galiena.
We will also be re-proposing “Notturno bus” by Davide Marengo, which was very successful, particularly at the last showing in Palm Springs, and “Centochiodi” by Ermanno Olmi”.

According to Ms. Corvino, who is also president of UNEFA (the Union of Italian Film and Audiovisual Exporters), “another reason that Berlin is perfect is because the climate invites you to stay in the theaters, it is very well organized and offers a type of product with a very precise identity.
Even though it has recently opened up to more commercial films, my feeling is that these will not find the right dimension and opportunities for exchange at the EFM and that, for this reason, it would be better to eliminate what could possibly become just a distraction. Buyers continue to look for the same products as before and it is not a good idea for them to be distracted by something completely different”.

With regard to UNEFA, the latest news is that, since they separated from ANICA (the Italian Association of Cinematographic, Audiovisual and Multimedia Industries), they have welcomed several new members: “After Istituto Luce, Mediatrade and Lux have now entered the fold and we hope that Rai Trade will also be joining us very soon”.

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