“The crisis is starting to make itself felt: 2010 will be a complex year. But from 2011 things will probably start to pick up again.”
Marco Valerio Pugini, Executive Producer of Panorama Film and President of the Association of Executive Producers A.P.E., is quite satisfied with the way things are going.
Movies like “˜Letters to Juliet’, “˜The American’, “Twilight: New Moon’ and “˜Eat Pray Love’ have demonstrated the vitality of big international productions in our country, even though the number of overall working days has fallen.
“Until the beginning of this year there was quite a lot of work”, continues Pugini, “now things are starting to slow down”.
Marco Valerio Pugini gives his opinion on the implementation of tax credits in Italy:
“All these movies came to our country more or less irrespective of the tax breaks which were applied for “˜Letters to Juliet’, but not for “˜Eat Pray Love’.
Obviously they are a good thing and we hope they will be confirmed for 2011.
The problem is that, on their own, tax credits cannot change the direction of production companies that are heading for countries which are more competitive than our own, because many of those other countries “” like Hungary and Bulgaria – have similar and more advanced regulations that are more favorable to production companies.
At the same time, however, they have balanced out the competition somewhat, as previously we were at a disadvantage”.
Italian film crews also go to film in those countries where, in addition to tax breaks, they can find increasingly skilled workers.
And, according to Pugini, a strong part must be played by the “Italy system” which finds it hard to create a positive image abroad.
“It takes years to build credibility”, the producer continues, “we need everybody to work hard in order to achieve a linear and transparent approach.
The world of movies as a whole and, in particular, Italian producers, have demonstrated that tax breaks are necessary.
By moving together, I think we can still do even more”.
Pugini is satisfied “” through his personal experience “” with how local administrations have begun to respond to the demands of production companies.
“I have always been an advocate of “˜movie tourism'”, he explains.
“I have great belief in the combination of cinema and tourism but it must be supported by the territory and the authorities governing the same.
In Verona we have received the full support of the Mayor, the City Council and the provincial authorities.
Even though no money has been allocated, the commitment and speed with which certain problems have been solved has been decisive for obtaining excellent results.
The reaction was both immediate and favorable, because straight away our interlocutors understood the benefits that could be derived for the city of Verona.
There is also a common interest.
I want to make a good product for my clients and the public administration wants the image of its city to come out as well as possible.
We have had enormous help from the City Council as well as the various departments”.
With regard to contributions from the territory, an exemplary case is that of Campania, where the very active Film Commission, under the guidance of the President Luciano Stella and the Director General Maurizio Gemma, provided direct support to the “˜Eat Pray Love’ project. “In our job, money is not always the first thing you need”, explains Pugini.
“The Campania Film Commission provided its pivotal and irreplaceable assistance to create a set in the very centre of Naples.
Communication and collaboration between all the subjects involved is crucial for facilitating movie-making in Italy”.
The producer concludes: “It is the stories in particular that bring foreign movies to our country.
Today, however, thanks to the tax credits, international productions no longer try to avoid Italy.”