Forces of Change – What’s next?”: there could not have been a more apt theme to describe the fourth edition of Focus in London, and not just because it will be the first time that the producers, locations and incentives market is being held against the backdrop of the reality of Brexit.
And while the repercussions of the United Kingdom’s exit on the audiovisual industry will be investigated in the panel “Brexit Logistics – What TV & Film Makers need to know”, there will also be sessions offering updates on the latest developments in terms of tax incentives and public funds, the opportunities for across-the-board collaborations between the various audiovisual industries, forays into the most interesting co-production cases, a look at the new streaming panorama and the latest film titles, TV programs and advertising campaigns.
Undoubtedly one of the strongest winds of change is blowing from Italy which will be presenting itself in London in a compact and cohesive way, taking center stage in a physical sense as well with a pavilion in a central position that will bring together a cartel consisting of ICE (Italian Trade Agency), Istituto Luce Cinecittà, MiBACT (Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) and the Italian Film Commissions, plus two rooms for one-to-one meetings with visitors to the event.
“We believe that Focus London is a very important rendezvous for presenting the new Cinecittà and our development plan because it is a meeting place for the most important sector players. Moreover, the fact of being able to do this together with the Italian Film Commissions and the MiBAC makes it possible for us to introduce a bona fide “Italy system”, with a clear and integrated offer of studios, locations and incentives for international productions,” says Roberto Cicutto, president and CEO of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà following the approval of the expansion work on the studios which will have a new 3500 sq. meter sound stage ready by the end of 2020, in addition to a permanent green screen 360 studio for special effects and a swimming pool for underwater filming.
The marketing manager, Andrea Spagna, will be presenting the new Cinecittà during the ITALIA: The place to film session which will be held on Tuesday December 3 at 11.30 a.m., introduced by Ferdinando Pastore, director of the ICE/ITA London office.
Announcing the ‘Italy system’ alongside Cinecittà will be Italy for Movies and the MiBACT, represented by Bruno Zambardino and Iole Giannattasio and the coordinated Italian film commissions led by Stefania Ippoliti.
“Focus represents a big opportunity for presenting the various possibilities offered by the Italian audiovisual sector to an international audience of professionals,” says Zambardino.
“Italy for Movies and its app – which is being presented outside national boundaries for the first time since it was created – give us an element that connects various entities, so audiovisual Italy will be displayed in a compact guise, demonstrating that, moving beyond healthy regional rivalries, it is the country as a whole that benefits.”
A compactness that is not just a façade but actually consists of an increasingly intense collaboration between film commissions and the Cinema DG where the third working group on internationalization has just installed itself following on the heels of the working groups on access to public assets and the standardization of open calls, as Stefania Ippoliti explains to us: “It is a mixed group that reunites some film commission colleagues with the representatives of the regions who are our political references: a good way to work that allows us to remain aligned. I really believe that Italy is ready to take a big leap forward which will allow it to ‘change championship’.”
“For me the winning idea is not only to introduce ourselves through our stunning settings but, above all, through the talents to be found in every region” continues Ippoliti. “After Berlin and Cannes, we are happy to present ourselves alongside Italy for Movies and Cinecittà at Focus as well, which is truly a market for technicians, the pragmatic part that was missing. We have also invited line producers to join us for the meetings (Marco Valerio Pugini from Panorama Films will be there), another very interesting part of our system and some of our best promoters, passing through tax credits and much more.”
The Italian film commissions taking part in Focus are the Apulia Film Commission, Emilia-Romagna Film Commission, the Film Commission Regione Campania, the Film Commission Torino Piemonte, the Film Commission Vallée d’Aoste, the Fondazione Calabria Film Commission, the Fondazione Lombardia Film Commission, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission, the Genova Liguria Film Commission, IDM Südtirol – South Tyrol, the Lucana Film Commission, the Roma Lazio Film Commission, the Toscana Film Commission and the Trentino Film Commission.