Italy is launching financial incentives for foreign distributors to boost international theatrical circulation of local movies. This long-awaited attempt to open access to more screens for cinema Italiano and make it more competitive with other strongly promoted European films, such as those from France.
During Rome’s new MIA content mart the Italian government announced allocation of a new Euros 700,000 ($793,000) fund to support the international prints and advertising costs of Italian movies.
Incentives do not apply to the U.S., where Italian films are doing quite well.
Countries where distributors will be able to get the promotional coin are Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, Argentina, Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Australia, Canada, Russia and across all of Europe, if an Italo title has not already tapped into a similar EU subsidy.
Each Italian pic will be able to recoup no more than 30% of its P&A costs per country, with a Euros 30,000 ($33,000) cap. Feature films, docus and toons produced within the past two years, with a local theatrical distribution contract, are all eligible.
Titles picked up by foreign distributors from February 2015 going forward will be eligible. Pic must have had a regular full-fledged run in movie theatres for at least a week to qualify.
International sales companies selling Italian films and also an Italian committee comprising Italian national motion picture association Anica and state film promotion body Istituto Luce Cinecitta monitor and guarantee proper use the the fund.
Though no reliable recent figures are available, Italy currently exports a small portion of the roughly 200 films it produces annually. An even smaller portion of its movie exports systematically make it into global movie theaters, outside of a few territories, the top one being France.