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WHY: Italy is gunning to become a hot spot for international shoots thanks to its recently introduced tax credits that can provide as much as 25% of a film’s budget for a total of up to e5 million ($7.7 million) per pic for foreign production companies filming in Italy. Concurrently, Italian regional film commissions are finally offering incentives on par with the rest of Europe, and in some cases better. Los Angeles-based Endgame Entertainment and Italy’s Piedmont Film Commission recently launched their long-gestating film fund available to U.S. studios looking to make movies in Italy.

BONUS: Shooting in Sicily can mean tapping into coin specially allocated by the European Union for filming on the isle. Alfonso Arau is the latest international helmer to select a Sicilian setting when he shot most of his recently wrapped melodrama “The Trick in the Light” in Palermo. John Turturro is currently making a docu in Mazara Del Vallo, port to Italy’s largest fishing fleet, on Sicily’s southwestern tip.

SHOT THERE: “Miracle at St. Anna,” “When in Rome,” “The Other Man,” “Angels and Demons”

HOT SPOT: Rome’s Cinecitta Studios have recently refurbished an Umbrian facility called Cinecitta Umbria Studios. The state-of-the art soundstages in a converted steel mill in the heart of the central Italian countryside are becoming an increasingly sought-after alternative to Cinecitta in Rome. The Umbrian outpost is likely to become the main production hub for Richard Linklater’s still-in-development St. Francis of Assisi biopic “Fool for God” with Ethan Hawke as the Umbrian saint.

LINKS:

Lazio Film Commission: romalaziofilmcommission.it

Turin and Piedmont Film Commission: fctp.it

Tuscany Film Commission: filmcommission.toscana.it

Friuli Venezia Giulia Film Commission: fvgfilmcommission.com