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About half of the 357 movies produced in Italy between 2006 and 2008 have travelled outside the country.

In a year in which Venice is packed with cinema Italiano, that is the encouraging figure that emerged during the Lido presentation of new research on local film exports, the first such study from producers’ body Anica.

However, sales of Italian films abroad brought a mere €26 million ($33.5 million) to the industry over that three-year period.

“Currently the value of our exports covers roughly 8% of the total cost of our films,” said Anica prexy Riccardo Tozzi, who is also topper of Cattleya, Universal’s outpost in Italy.

“If you consider that French producers can count on covering 20% of their costs from international, it’s clear that we need to start taking some strong action,” Tozzi urged.

But Tozzi noted that in recent years the Italo industry has been successful at winning back local auds, with home-made movies now accounting for roughly 30% of local ticket sales, which is a significant slice.

The 31 Italian movies released between 2006 and 2008 that sold to more than 10 countries abroad include Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah,” Paolo Sorrentino’s “Il Divo,” Nanni Moretti’s “The Caiman,” Giuseppe Tornatore’s “The Unknown Woman,” and Daniele Luchetti’s “My Brother Is an Only Child.”

On an optimistic note, Roberto Ciccutto, prexy of national film entity Cinecitta Luce and also topper of the Rome Film Festival Business Street mart, said that from 2008 to the present, Italian film exports have been growing, as has the presence of Italian movies in international film fests.