The recognition given to Jonas Carpignano’s “A Ciambra” by the Europa Cinemas Label during the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs [Directors’ Fortnight] at Cannes 2017, brought Lu.Ca. to the attention of a global professional audience: this acronym unites two regions in southern Italy, Basilicata and Calabria, the result of an agreement between their respective Film Commissions which established a Memorandum of Understanding in 2016.
Whilst conserving their individual autonomies as the Calabria Film Commission and the Lucana Film Commission, the agreement makes it possible for them to implement joint projects, thus pursuing economies of scale and purpose which have already reaped excellent fruits. Among other things the two regions have been mentioned by the New York Times as unmissable places to visit in 2017 and 2018.
“A Ciambra” was one of the rst projects supported by Lu.Ca.
This film, “so impressive and complete”, to use the words of Martin Scorsese who co-financed the project, has marched to- wards the Oscars, having been designated to represent Italy in the race for the glorious statue for Best Foreign Language Film, taking with it the light, poetry and rugged beauty of these two regions at the center of the Mediterranean Sea.
The collaboration agreement between the Film Commissions of Basilicata and Calabria (renewed by the two Regional Presidents for another three years in 2017) is an example of good practice to be extended to all the regions of Southern Italy after its dazzling departure with Jonas Carpignano’s movie – without fojrgetting “The Millionairs”, the debut short directed by Claudio Santamaria filmed along the Calabrian- Lucanian border inside the Parco del Pollino.
The agreement returns to the international spotlight with a vey different project: “Trust”. As is common knowledge, this television series is about a news event that took place in Italy in 1973: the kidnapping of John Paul Getty III, grandson of John Paul Getty, the US oil magnate.
With a stellar cast – Donald Sutherland, Hilary Swank and, among the Italians, Luca Marinelli – the series consists of ten episodes: Oscar winner Danny Boyle (“Slumdog Millionaire”, “Trainspotting”) directed the first three, then another 4 directors took turns including Italy’s Emanuele Crialese.
“Trust” will be aired on 25 March on FX in the USA and probably all over the world on day and date release (on Sky Atlantic HD in Italy). “Trust” filmed in Basilicata and Calabria for 51 days (out of the total 115 filmed in Italy), between September and November, with an extraordinary economic impact: an investment in the region by the production of around € 3.5 million (out of the total € 30 million), with the involvement of numerous Calabrian and Lucan workers.
“The joint venture between the two Film Commissions worked very well”, says Enzo Sisti, the series’ line producer for Lotus Productions: “together they helped us solve problems related to the obtaining of permits, they provided us with capable and well-prepared professionals as well as the support of ‘dialogue coaches’ for the Calabrian dialect”.
“When we were inspecting the locations, between May and June last year, Danny Boyle was very impressed by the wild appearance of these places: we filmed in Maratea, on the sea, and in Trecchina in Basilicata, in Calabria we went to the Gole del Raganello in t
he province of Cosenza, then to Civita, at Camigliatello Silano where there is a beautiful railway line that runs along the Sila. We spent the largest amount of days at Orsomarso and in the surrounding woods”.
“Boyle wanted to film in the places used for the imprisonment, the Aspromonte, but then we ‘moved’ to Pollino where the setting is more or less similar”.
“The place where Paul Getty JR was really released is very close to where we were filming: a service station near Lauria, a town in Basilicata, very near the border with Calabria”.
Enzo Sisti has been a great promoter of this land ever since he brought Mel Gibson here to film “ e Passion” in 2003. He appreciates the economic support provided by Lu.Ca. (“It is a small but important contribution”), and the work of the Film Commissions which he considers to be essential for solving the bureaucratic problems that foreign productions often find incomprehensible.
“ The Lu.Ca. Memorandum of Understanding is part of an overall vision that sees the cultural sector as a strategic lever for the economic and social development of the whole of Southern Italy” declares Francesco Loreto, director of the Calabria Film Commission. “The results achieved and the dynamics put in place confirm to us that the vision is the right one.”
“We have demonstrated to have good intuition” ends Paride Leporace, director of the Lucana Film Commission: “With limited funds we have shown that it is possible to create the virtuous actions and economies of scale necessary for creating new production models. Now we want to experiment with additional models that involve other categories of cinema and audiovisual.