1999-2019, twenty years of Film Commissions in Liguria. That’s quite a long time and features the longest period of continuous operation in Italy. In the beginning there was the GenovaSet Film Commission which was set up in 1999 on the initiative of the City Council of Genoa, one of a group of pioneers that included the Film Commissions of Emilia Romagna and the Italian Riviera (also in Liguria) soon to be followed by the Film Commissions of Piedmont and Lombardy.
It is a well known fact that having regional bodies promoting and attracting productions is a “US” idea that is at least 70 years old.
GenovaSet started as a “city” film commission and immediately obtained good results: the TV series “Vento di Ponente” (RAI 2) in 2001, the movie “Voci “(2002) with Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, the musical “Come se fosse Amore “(2002), with Chiara Muti and the Cavalli Marci comics and “Onde” (2005). Right from the start the Genoese Film Commission also decided to specialize in more commercial formats, actively promoting the use of local sets for advertising commercials and musical video clips.
Two of the movies made almost entirely in the Ligurian capital in subsequent years were “Gli Indesiderabili” by Pasquale Scimeca and “Red like the sky” by Cristiano Bortone (2006).
In 2007 the Regional Government of Liguria approved the law for setting up a regional Film Commission.
The new structure, called the Genova-Liguria Film Commission, absorbed GenovaSet and began operating throughout the region.
The new entity consolidated the successful encounter with a great director who is not from Liguria but filmed three movies in the region within the space of just a few years: Silvio Soldini arrived in 2004 to shoot part of “Agata and the Storm” and returned in 2007 to shoot an extraordinary documentary about Liguria entitled “Un piede in terra e l’altro in mare” and the movie “Days and Clouds”, one of the biggest successes – also in terms of audience – by the director from Milan (with Margherita Buy, Antonio Albanese and Alba Rohrwacher).
“Genova”, the movie by the prolific British director Michael Winterbottom, filmed in Genoa, Camogli and the Riviera di Levante, with an international cast (Oscar-winner Colin Firth was the protagonist) was also made in 2007. In 2009 the Film Commission found a new home when it moved to the prestigious Villa Bombrini in the Cornigliano district (which has also provided the set for numerous productions).
The space available and the desire to find new forms of intervention led the Genova-Liguria Film Commission to create, for the first time in Italy, a production “pole” which could provide a base for companies from the whole creative sector (today there are around 60 entrepreneurial subjects with over 100 employees), a small sound stage and other facilities for production companies (production offices, meeting rooms, casting rooms, dressing rooms, guest rooms).
The work of attracting productions intensified in parallel, with remark- able results: every year assistance is provided to on average 100-120 large and small productions that choose Liguria as a set.
The more recent international successes include “Grace of Monaco” (starring Nicole Kidman), filmed in the Royal Palace of Genoa and at Villa Hambury in Ventimiglia, “Promise at Dawn” (starring Charlotte Gainsbourg) filmed in Bordighera, and “Murder Mystery” with Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston filmed in Santa Margherita.
Since 2017, with a renewed commitment and two windows opened in 2018 and 2019, a new financial instrument has also finally arrived which offers incentives to local productions as well as those choosing Liguria as a location.
An open call to support productions the aim of which is to represent the premise for another twenty years of success.