Region has bold plans for future

With the festival he founded nearing its 40th anniversary, director Claudio Gubitosi is understandably growing mindful of his legacy. In particular, his most ambitious initiative, the Giffoni Multimedia Valley: a massive complex that he says will contain a dedicated film museum and library, two 500-seat cinemas, an open-air arena hosting 10,000 people, a 400-bed campus — and, ideally, professional studio facilities for the year-round production of youth-oriented cinema and TV.

If all this sounds optimistic, it’s worth bearing in mind that Gubitosi has already proved himself a shrewd politician. In 1995, he obtained E6 million in funding from Rome, which he plowed into the design and construction of the Citadel of Cinema, a 700-seat auditorium and offices that now forms the festival’s permanent home. And he has now secured an additional E36 million investment from the regional government of Campagna. Construction of the campus has already begun; by 2012, he says, the project will be complete.

“Giffoni is my hometown — a very precious, rather fragile place,” he says. “But I’ve always approached it with an international perspective. So I’ve sought to enlist the local government in these projects. And the Multimedia Valley is by far the most significant of these. To me, it’s essential that we become involved in training as well as exhibition and thus reinforce Giffoni’s standing as a production center, a place where young people can learn to create cinema as well as appreciate it.”

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