Italian state film entity returns to Cannes

After recently vacillating on the brink of closure, Italian state film entity Cinecitta Luce is back on the Croisette with new vigor thanks to government refinancing and a more muscular mission to support young Italo filmmakers.

Cinecitta Luce topper Luciano Sovena says finalization is imminent on a long-gestating agreement with RAI Cinema under which the publicly-funded outfit will become the regular Italo distributor for first and second works co-produced by independant producers in tandem with the powerful film arm of the Italo pubcaster.

“Focussing only on Italian first and second works marks a totally new course for us, since in the past we acquired product from all over the world,” Sovena said

Sovena said that in March he felt “saved just in time” when, bowing to mounting pressure, the Silvio Berlusconi government unexpectedly refinanced the country’s film sector and allocated E13.5 million ($19.3 million) for the multipurpose outfit which, he had warned, was close to shuttering.

The refinancing, he points out, still marks a 30% cut compared with his budget two years ago.

Cinecitta Luce, which was in Cannes last year promoting Michelangelo Frammartino’s well-received “Le Quattro Volte,” now has high hopes for first-timer Alice Rohrwacher’s “Corpo Celeste,” unspooling in Directors’ Fortnight, which it will release in Italy.

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