Paolo Damilano, the Piedmontese wine and mineral water entrepreneur, has been president of the Film Commission Torino Piemonte for a couple of years, a role to which, a few days ago, he added that of president of the Museum of Cinema of Turin.
Damilano discusses the results of last year’s balance sheet with Cinema & Video International and also talks about the future. 2015 seems to be a special year for the Film Commission Torino Piemonte, the number 15 recurs with a certain frequency: from its 15 years of business activities to the 15 million Euro economic spin-off achieved last year, to the 15% contribution given to productions filming in Piedmont.
Where shall we start?
From the part that most interests cinema professionals: the 15% that represents our quota towards covering production costs in the region. A contribution which is given without imposing any competitive bids or deadlines. Now we feel the need to promote it with greater clarity. Theatrical producers need to know that they can access our economic support without having to go through bureaucratic procedures that tend to slow things down.
A dialogue between entrepreneurs: that is another very Piedmontese characteristic
That is my role: I have to be a portal through which the business world can communicate with the world of cinema. There is still some diffidence about the movie industry but it also arouses a lot of interest. We see that in the work we are doing on tax credits: I would say that fiscal advantages are not the first reason an entrepreneur decides to invest in a movie. We have realized that the communication lever plays a greater role than the financial one: the possibility of promoting a brand’s values through cinema. That is more important for a region’s entrepreneurs.
Local but also global: is it true that the Film Commission is involved in an audiovisual co-production with China?
We have picked up on our wine producers’ interest in Asian markets, we are persuading them to use the European Union’s OCM funds dedicated to extra-EU promotion to participate in funding a movie.
In what way do you think a movie can promote wine? Are you thinking of a kind of ‘Sideways’ or ‘A good year’ made in Piedmont?
We want to export the wine, not the movie. It will be a Chinese story filmed in the Langhe. Once again here we feel that communication is more effective when you speak the same language as your target audience. And by language I obviously mean the story, the cultural approach.
Is this your way of working on internationality?
We follow the indications provided by Minister Franceschini. When he says that movies and TV series set in Italy are the most extraordinary tool for promoting tourism and re-launching Italy’s image in the world, isn’t that what he is referring to? We just add the excellence of our wines.
Last question: just a few days ago you were appointed the president of the Museum of Cinema of Turin. What does it mean to preside over two strategic Piedmontese audiovisual hubs?
At the moment I can only say that this seems to me to be an extraordinary opportunity to work as a system. The synergies that can be created between two excellent entities such as the Museum and the Film Commission will give a big boost to the fundraising work we are already successfully carrying out in the private entrepreneurial world.