Discover Italy at the 80th Venice International Film Festival

The agenda of the General Director of Cinema and Audiovisual at the Italian Ministry of Culture, Nicola Borrelli, shows the thoughtful work in improving the sector to support the growth of the industry.

Nicola Borrelli, General Director of Cinema and Audiovisual at the Italian Ministry of Culture, has been overseeing the administrative machinery of the department since 2009. He managed to keep his position despite the turnover in government (with a brief interruption between 2019 and 2020), successfully challenging the spoil system.

His signature is on all the regulations governing the film and audiovisual industry in Italy, starting with the Cinema Law enacted in 2016.

On the eve of the Venice Film Festival, he reveals to Cinema & Video Internationals the details of the intensive work done so far and what to expect from future measures.

A strategic resource to strengthen our industry

«We have worked intensively on this reform, supporting Undersecretary Lucia Borgonzoni at every stage in the past months – says Nicola Borrelli.

We run in-depth hearings with all the organizations directly involved in the reform and the most prominent associations of the industry.

The associations were presented with a document containing a series of inputs to improve the tax incentives tool, increase production quality, and minimize the risks of evasion and misallocation of public resources.

We analyzed what impact potential changes to the decrees could have on the industry. The reform considers the experience we gained with the evolution of the market at national and international levels, technological innovations, and audience behavior in recent years.»

Selective Contributions

A new call for Selective Contributions will open between September and October.

Engaging new generations

The next call for the 4th Cinema and Image for Schools National Plan opened in late August. The last call allocated a record amount of 43 million euros,  690 school projects were founded, including 13 highly innovative experimental projects. Thanks to these projects, almost 700,000 students were involved, many of whom have stepped into a movie theater for the first time.

Film Distribution Fund

The fund, which supports distributors releasing our films abroad, has been increased to €2.1M per year, with a maximum limit of €50k for theatrical releases and €15k for online distribution.

Minority Co-production Fund

Raised to €6M, the fund continues to enable producers to participate as minority stakeholders in foreign projects.

Italian Screens

Italian films looking for distribution have screenings around the world under the program Italian Screens. This is possible thanks to a tight collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with the involvement of local Embassies and Italian Cultural institutes. The selection of films is made in collaboration with the Italian Film Academy – David di Donatello Awards and the project cooperates with some of the major film festivals worldwide.

Independent Producers

Borrelli explains how the redefinition of the term independent producer needs to be addressed at a European level, given that it is central to the EU’s Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the programming and investment obligations system of European works, and the current tax incentives system.

«While the purchase of Italian companies by European and non-European groups can be seen as an opportunity for growth and internationalization, it is necessary to enable the opposite process: Italian groups shall have the resources to expand and strengthen their presence in foreign markets. At the Ministry of Culture, we initiated a series of discussions in this direction. For example, we are evaluating the activation of a dedicated fund, and conceptualizing supports to encourage and facilitate business aggregations with the Institute for Sports Credit and the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti.»

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