SARDINIA, A SLALOM RIDe THROUGH THe INCENTIVES OFFERED BY A CONTROVERSIAL LAW
Flavia Oertwig boasts a curriculum that includes inspector/director of production, head of development and finance finder for US and German companies.
She has also worked as a line producer, mainly in Rome and, more recently, in Sardinia where, in 2006, she founded Intrigo Internazionale: “I am making a feature length documentary, “Zona Militare “” Military Zone”, about the population of a small village which, for 50 years, has lived alongside the military in the off limits area of the experimental military base at Quirra in the southeastern part of Sardinia. It will be an Italian-French co-production.
I am also producing a short, “Smother Party”, by scriptwriter Filippo Kalomenidis, for which we are requesting financing from the Regional Government of Sardinia.
With Kalomenidis I am also developing a comedy set in Sassari and Alghero”.
The new regional law for the development of the film industry (20/9/2006) will make around 2 million euros available.
The funds have already been released for this year and are divided up as follows: “150,000 for screenplays, the same amount for shorts, plus ” 1,300,000 for feature movies (in this case, however, the law offers five year loans of amounts that do not exceed 40% of the cost of the movie, 50% for first and second works, up to a maximum of ” 400,000 for each project, which can go up to ” 500,000 in the event of an international co-production).
There are also other funds for distribution (” 70,000), film Festivals, research (” 50,000) and schools.
“This law has been highly criticized in Sardinian film circles”, continues Oertwig.
“Only production companies can request a contribution and it does not include foreign companies (they have to go through an Italian company), service companies or companies only involved in the executive production.
Also, the fact that it is only possible to put in a request once a year makes it very inflexible.
For this reason, the service companies operating in the area are very important, providing institutional contacts, particularly on a municipal and provincial level, doing all they can to find private local backing”.
Federico Floris, who has been working with eia Sardinia for over seven years, is cautious about the new law:
“The project analysis phase is nearly completed but we are still waiting for the Region to launch the Notice to the Banks (a fundamental element) in order to designate the winners”.
Productions are attracted, in particular, by the island’s beaches, which are often deserted and accessible and, for the most part, available free of charge.
Many of the productions are commercials but feature length movies are starting to come along as well.
“We are registering a growth in foreign productions”, continues Floris. “Last year we made two German movies: “Il sorriso sardonico-The sardonic smile” by Thilo Koch in Santa Teresa di Gallura, Olbia and Arzachena, as well as “Alle Anderen” by Maren Ade, in the provinces of Cagliari and Nuoro.
With regard to France, two years ago we made “Les Bronzées 3” on the Costa Smeralda, a great commercial success for Patrice Leconte, and we are currently preparing “Océan” by Jacque Perrin, which will feature the tuna fishing activities of Carloforte and Portoscuso.
There is also another project in the works: the movie “La vedova scalza”, by Ciro Ippolito, based on the novel by Salvatore Niffoi, winner of the Campiello 2006 award.”
SICILY, A LAND OF TALENT THAT NEEDS TO BUILD A BRIDGE OF TRUST
Chico Paladino confirms that our islands are much sought-after, particularly by foreign production companies: “80% of our clients come from abroad.
From last spring to last fall we were involved in the executive production of “Largo Winch”, by Jerome Salle, a 25 million euro French production by Pan europeenne, with Tomer Sisley and Christine Scott Thomas (filmed around Trapani and the Aeolian islands).
It is an action movie, full of special effects, which is due to be released next Christmas.
We will also be involved in “Largo Winch 2”.
In April we filmed Coldplay’s latest video, in collaboration with Aetnei/Scenari, a production company based in Catania.”
“Sicily has enormous potential”, continues Paladino, “which has not yet been fully exploited, with autochthonous professionals who have trained in the most famous film and photographic venues.
If they returned to work on the island they could bring to life a concrete, new reality”.
With regard to the allocation of regional funds, Paladino is cautious but hopeful:
“Last autumn the Regional Government of Sicily set up a Cinema and Audiovisuals fund offering economic aid to those investing not just in the territory but also, and above all, in local skills.
It is still premature to talk about the results, we will wait and see.”
was the executive producer on “The Palermo Shooting” by Wim Wenders, filmed in the Sicilian capital from 8th October to 2nd November 2007.
“For many years, the Palermo AAPIT (Tourist Office) has allocated funds for realizing cultural works aimed at promoting the territory.
In 2002 I started inviting Wenders to set one of his extraordinary stories in our city: he was given one million Euros of financing.
Working in Palermo is very easy and the work of the location manager, Chiara Scardamaglia, has been impeccable.”
In addition to shooting James Bond, Guido Cerasuolo’s Mestiere Cinema is involved in an important production for German television: “Totentanz” Macabre Dance), part of the “Commissario Laurenti” series, directed by Ulrich Zrenner, starring Henry Hà¼bchen and Barbara Rudnik.
The series is produced by Trebitsch Entertainment GmbH of Hamburg, which will be filming in Trieste from 28th April until 28th May.