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Outlook good for tax shelter

Possible tax protection for Italian film production.

MILAN — The Italian government will most probably include a national film tax shelter in the next financial bill, Culture Dept. undersecretary Carmelo Rocca said last week.

Rocca’s comments at the Venice Film Festival confirmed Minister of Culture Guiliano Urbani’s unofficial support of the tax shelter.

The best way to finance Italy’s beleaguered film industry “is certainly to let private investors choose the film companies or products into which they put their money,” Rocca said.

Industry support

Tax shelter funds have been embraced by a large part of the Italian industry, including film producers org Anica and national distributors union Unidim.

However, the introduction of tax shelters in Italy will not be easy or fast.

“The idea is very good, but even if the Berlusconi government sticks to the pledge, it will take years before such a system can work,” Giovanni Stabilini, CEO of Cattleya, Italy’s largest film production company, told Daily Variety.

“In the meantime, we will have to survive in a country where film producers get 70%-80% of their revenues from TV rights,” he said.

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