MPAA topper warns Italos against anti-U.S. laws

VENICE — Hollywood is looking to invest more coin in continental European production — provided local governments don’t get in the way.

So says MPAA topper Dan Glickman during a powwow with Italo industryites and politicians at the Venice Film Festival.

Glickman, who lunched at the Lido with Italian culture minister Francesco Rutelli, said he is seeking ways to facilitate the studios — particularly their specialty units and the bigger U.S. indies — becoming more involved in Italo and French co-prods.

“But you can’t have laws that are discriminatory against the U.S.,” he warned.

The MPAA topper, making his first Italian tour, is concerned about a new film law being mulled in Rome that could impose a tax on pay TV, homevid, Web and wireless revenues.

The tax would fund local production and be off-limits to U.S. producers.

Said Glickman: “If American films are taxed disproportionately, or the resources are taxed disproportionately in an adverse way, I guarantee you that will minimize investment.”

The success Stateside of more modestly budgeted U.S. pix such as “Crash” and “Capote,” could be beneficial in prompting Hollywood to embark on European co-productions on similar-sized projects.

He explained: “I think you are going to see more and more American film production geared toward films with that kind of size and scope.

“That ought to be helpful in terms of building relationships with Italian producers and French producers.”

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