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Italy latest in pact for EU film co-productions

ROME — Adding its signature to those of the 16 other countries that already are official participants in the pact, the Italian parliament has ratified its adherence to the European Council’s convention for film co-productions.

The convention was established in response to the need for unifying norms for multilateral co-productions between three or more Euro territories. It aims to regulate terms of admission into co-production deals, rights of co-producers and investment quotas, as well as ensuring that co-productions receive the same state support as national productions.

“Numerous agreements currently exist between European producer countries, and their disparity creates notable differences at times,” said Mario Liggeri, vice chief of the Italian government’s Dept. of Entertainment. “The risk is that some co-producers will be offered less favorable terms than others.”

Countries already signed on are Austria, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Russia, Switzerland, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Greece and the U.K.

The co-production confab, the EC’s Media II program and the prospects for increased industry collaboration be-tween Europe and the U.S. will come under scrutiny at a confab in Rome Friday, organized by Italian producers as-sociation Anica and London-based United Media Associates.

Speakers include New Line Cinema’s Andrew Matthews, Eurimages executive secretary Mireille Paulus-Levy, Jean Jeauniaux of Media II, United Media Associates’ Anthony Martino and Rome-based producer Leo Pescarolo, who was behind Francesco Rosi’s $13 million “The Truce,” one of the most ambitious Euroco-productions of the past year.

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