Italo pic prod’n inches upward

MILAN – The Italian film industry showed signs of a slight recovery in 1996, based on the national pic production figures released this week.

The improvement is only marginal, however, and the sector remains weak. A total of 99 feature films were produced last year, 77 of which were totally financed with Italian capital. The remaining 22 were co-productions, mainly with other European countries, according to the figures from ANICA, the Italian film producers association.

It’s the sixth time since 1950 that the national film output has slipped below 100 titles. But the figures show the first improvement in four years, and the total investment in film production rose from $148 million to $239 million. The average cash investment remained small, about $1.8 million.

The ANICA figures also cover Italian imports, up from 273 in 1995 to 267. Of those, 182 were U.S. productions and 70 were European.

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