by Paolo Di Maira
He was so enthusiastic after the first scouting trip that he decided to start shooting a year early”: this is how, without hiding her satisfaction, Stefania Ippoliti, director of Mediateca Toscana Film Commission confirms that Spike Lee will begin filming “Miracle at Saint Anna” on 8th October.
With the help of the Film Commission and the full collaboration of producers Cicutto and Musini. Tuscany has welcomed Spike Lee with open arms.
Prestigious artistic institutions (the “Premio Fiesole ai Maestri del Cinema” award) and similarly prestigious financial institutions have rallied round him: the latest news is that the Monte dei Paschi bank will support “Miracle at Saint Anna” by advancing large foreign investments for the production.
This complex weave of relations was made possible by Mediateca which has been given a mandate by the Regional Government to handle all cinema policies regarding Tuscany.
Events and festivals can play a further unprecedented role which is complementary to the promotion of locations.
“Festivals are turning out to be an excellent way of attracting famous directors who come to Tuscany to preside over the juries at our festivals or as special guests.
They fall in love with the area and come back to make films”. Kiarostami’s visit to Capalbio, for example, led to the discovery of atmospheric locations in which to set his story.
“We traveled around the Maremma district during the Festival,” says Ippoliti, “and Kiarostami fell in love with it.
The Festival network functions from a number of viewpoints. We are working to help them grow.”
This growth needs to be regulated and harmonized according to the demands of the territory.
For this reason, Stefania Ippoliti has entered into another risky adventure which involves bringing together the various protagonists of the Florentine Festivals: “We have identified the common thread that unites these events in their capacity as select occasions and, taking advantage of one of our city’s assets “” Fashion “” we have decided to present the “Autumn “” Winter Movie Collection”.
This will open on 22th September with the Queer Florence Festival and will continue with France Cinema (30th October “” 4th November), the Festival del Cinema delle Donne “” Women’s Film Festival (6th – 11th November), the Festival dei Popoli “” People’s Festival (16th “” 22nd November), and River to River (7th-13th December).
It will end with N.I.C.E. in December, the week before Christmas, with an award ceremony for the winning movies at the shows held in New York and San Francisco in November.
“The Festivals will maintain their autonomy,” explains Ippoliti, “ours will be a coordinating role: we can work on a single communication and promotion campaign, guarantee good hospitality in the city and provide various accommodation solutions. We are also looking for a single venue: the Cinema Gambrinus will probably hold all the events this year.
We will also be studying suitable transport concessions with the Council Authorities to facilitate access to the old city center”.
Cinema&Video International n.8-9 August/September 2007