Italian film investment increase to span three years

Italy’s RAI Cinema, the film arm of pubcaster RAI, is celebrating its 10th anniversary by upping investment in local production and maintaining spending for international content — despite the country’s draconian arts cuts and belt-tightening at the mammoth broadcaster.

RAI Cinema is hiking film investment by 20% to more than $65 million a year for the next three years.

That does not include the roughly $30 million a year that RAI Cinema, which also distributes movies theatrically via its 01 Distribuzione unit, has budgeted for prints and advertising costs on local pics through 2013.

At a packed presentation in Rome, RAI Cinema managing director Paolo Del Brocco said RAI Cinema’s new slogan is: “More public service and also more market.”

In the past decade the company, set up to maximize the value of RAI’s investments in film, has grown from $4.6 million in grosses in 2001 to an $82 million take so far this year.

As part of its public service mission Del Brocco pledged to finance 12 micro-budget movies by first-time filmmakers, at a cost of roughly $300,000 each.

Meanwhile, RAI Cinema will continue to shepherd works by established helmers such as Nanni Moretti, whose’s upcoming “We Have a Pope” was among films that that ran sneaks at the presentation.

Del Brocco told Variety that investment in more mainstream international product would not be cut, though he declined to say how much would be spent each year.

RAI Cinema inked a multimillion, multi-year product pact with Disney at last month’s Mip TV mart in Cannes.

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