Italy has 21 film commissions but lacks substantial incentives to keep a competitive edge. Powerful commissions like Rome and Turin-Piedmont are becoming stronger by unifying provincial, regional and local coin, and they expect within year’s end to be able to offer incentive funds to attract international productions while newcomer Friuli-Venezia-Giulia provides a cash grant for EU and non-EU productions that film in the region.

Friuli-Venezia-Giulia. The FVG film fund launched in 2003 aiming to bring producers up to Italy’s northeast corner, nestled between the Adriatic and the Dolomites. Fund provides cash grants — ranging from E5,000 to E100,000 ($6,418 to $128,355), depending on length of filming time in the region — to established EU or non-EU film and television production companies. Efficient bilingual Web site has application forms in English or Italian; commish provides free consultation, help with the local bureaucracy and location scouting.
Films shot in region: Giuseppe Tornatore’s upcoming “La sconosciuta,” Johnnie Ho’s “Yesterday Once More,” Renzo Martinelli’s “Vajont.”

Turin Piedmont Film Commission. Commish launched a spring 2006 fund to promote the Italian Masters of Horror series, a co-production funded in part by the commish, with Istituto Luce and Dania Film of low-budget slasher pics that were all shot in Piedmont. Luce is looking for international distribution for the films. Fund disposes of $7.7 million annually and provides up to 20% of project’s budget. With an eye toward attracting medium- to large-scale international productions, commish is working on creating a hefty investment fund of $40 million. According to topper Stefano Della Casa, specifics on fund and access are expected in late autumn.
Recently shot in region: Marco Tullio Giordano’s “The Best of Youth,” Roberto Faenza’s “I giorni dell’abbandono” (The Days of Abandonment) and Peter Greenaway’s “The Tulse Luper Suitcases, Part II.”

Roma Film Commission. Partnership of the Lazio Region — five provinces in Lazio and the city of Rome — is set to pave the way for regional incentives like reimbursement of Italy’s 20% VAT tax for non-EU productions, partly to offset the negative dollar-euro exchange rate. This powerhouse group will be able to draw on regional funds, increasing incentives to international productions. Coordinator Jacques Goyard says announcements regarding incentives are expected this fall. Rome boasts reliable facilities like Cinecitta for stages and back lots, Proxima and Cinecitta Digital for post, and an Oscar-winning tradition of set construction.
Recently shot in region: J.J. Abrams’ “Mission: Impossible III,” HBO’s mini “Rome.”


  • Roma Film Commission: Web: romafilmcommission.it; Email: exordia@tin.it; Phone: +39 06 439 3990; Fax: +39 06 439 2902, Contact: Jacques Lipkau-Goyard
  • Turin Piedmont Film Commission: Web: filmcommtorinopiemonte.it; Phone: +39 011 566 0177; Fax: +39 011 592 0555; Contact: Sefano Della Casa
  • Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission: Web: fvgfilmcommission.com; Email: info@fvgfilmcommission.com; Phone: +39 040 372 0124; Contacts: Federico Poillucci, Gianluca Novel, Guido Cassano

Giuseppe Tornatore’s “La sconosciuta” (The Unknown) received cash from FVG and facilities from Umbria Film Commissions. Tornatore’s long-awaited follow-up to “Malena” is a Medusa production with a reported $10 million budget.
Principal lensing took place in Trieste in Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region that was part of the Austria-Hungary Empire until 1918. Tornatore said the art nouveau and neoclassical architecture lent “the magic, mystery and foggy climate” that well served his story — a modern-day film-noir immigration tale.
Studio work was done at Umbrian Papigno studios (run by Cinecitta), which waived production costs for location, construction and equipment until the film sees its first returns.
“La sconosciuta” will bow in the autumn.