Cinema owes a lot to Tuscany, to its places of beauty, art and history.
But does Tuscany need cinema? stefania ippoliti, director of the mediateca Regionale Toscana which is in charge of the Film commission, is convinced that it does: “in Tuscany it is doubly important to invest public money in order to attract productions. Because it is not just the promotion of an image which is at stake but also the valorization of a fabric of micro and small businesses involved in craft s, services and the advanced tertiary sector”. at the moment, it is not easy to identify the specifi c abilities which can be used in the audiovisual sector and, for this reason the Regione Toscana [Regional government of Tuscany] has launched a census, Toscana Wiz, with the aim of distributing fi nancial support. “in a few months’ time we will have a rational picture of the craft businesses which can be included in a kind of extensive district of audiovisual services”, states stefania ippoliti. having redefi ned its mission within mediateca in 2006, in its fi rst year the Film commission has worked on setting up an offi ce which will guarantee the necessary services to anyone fi lming in the region: “Th anks to an agreement between all the municipalities in Tuscany, we have created a network of audiovisual contacts throughout the territory and we can give productions any type of response within forty-eight hours”.
soon anyone coming to Tuscany will also be able to get economic support: “We are setting up a Fund to bring down the costs sustained in our territory: hotel expenses, catering, logistics. soon we will also be publicizing a Fund which will allow productions to get advances from banks at a zero or almost zero interest rate through the Fidi Toscana local fi nance institution”. “We think that the task of a public body is not to replace private bodies but to create the conditions for generating development. our aim is to achieve qualitative development and cinema represents a sustainable development which can blend in well with the equilibrium of our region. We can use our craft skills in audiovisuals: from carpentry to costumes to lighting “¦ and we should not forget that some top animation companies are also located in Tuscany”.
The Toscana Film commission has started its journey: “We don’t want to be producers or equip ourselves with logistical structures at the service of productions”, says stefania ippoliti. “We want to off er producers something they can only get from us.
For example: we are signing an agreement with the maggio musicale Fiorentino sothat production companies can use the extraordinary skills of their workshop at decidedly competitive prices”. “in addition to the uniqueness of our locations and the mastery of our craft s, where necessary, we can also guarantee foreign producers a complete service: we are studying forms of collaboration with nearby cinecittà “, announces stefania ippoliti, clarifying that their plan to use cinema and audiovisuals to upgrade “craft s”, means that Tuscany does not just off er a “room with a view”, but can also provide “excellent” professional skills. as a result, even though the mediateca Regionale Toscana is a Foundation directly originating from the councilor’s offi ce for culture, there is still a possibility that the establishment of Funds for cinema and audiovisuals may also involve activating resources from other councilor’s offi ces such as those for Tourism and Economic Development.
Cinema&Video International 5-2007
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