Endgame, Piedmont trigger fund

Italian region looks to attract U.S. films

VENICE — Los Angeles-based Endgame Entertainment and Italy’s Piedmont Film Commission are going forward with their long-gestating film fund that will be available to U.S. studios looking to make movies in Italy.

A first $20 million portion of the $32 million fund, set up by the U.S. equity financing company in tandem with the Northern Italian region, is now ready to be allocated to mid-range projects with 75% of their budgets in place.

The mixed private/public fund will provide up to the remaining 25%, with a $6 million cap and the proviso that 20% of the budget be spent in Piedmont.

That does not mean that a film necessarily has to shoot in Piedmont to be eligible, given that the required 20% could go toward post-production in a Turin studio.

“Of course we’d like to see our region on screen, with its landscape of fantastic vineyards and mountains, and also our culinary delights,” said Piedmont Region president Mercedes Bresso. “But that is not a prerequisite.”

Project selection will start this month by two commissions: one evaluating a pic’s financial potential, the other its cultural value. While the primary criteria is a film’s international appeal, which gives English-language projects an edge, there are no specific language requirements.

Endgame, the company behind Bob Dylan biopic “I’m Not There,” and more recently “The Brothers Bloom,” is also active in Asia.

Piedmont is increasingly becoming an Italo production hotbed. “These days, a film made in our region is present in all the major film festivals,” boasted Torino and Piedmont Film Commission topper Stefano Della Casa. Paolo Sorrentino’s Cannes jury prize winner “Il Divo” is among hot titles recently filmed there.

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