Fellini, Visconti, Loren, Heston, Hepburn, Peck, Taylor, Burton … a dream ceremonial dinner of expertise graced the grounds of Rome’s famend Cinecittà movie studios through the so-called “Hollywood on the Tiber” interval — named after the river that runs by way of the Italian capital.
From the epic Quo Vadis in 1951 proper by way of to Peter Sellers’ Pink Panther in 1963, town was burning with huge film-production power. Hollywood studios clamored to report runaway English-language initiatives there, lapping up the native subsidies, decrease prices and unfrozen worldwide funds; peaking with Cleopatra in 1963 — at the moment the costliest title ever made. And now, because of each technological advances and an analogous dynamic that created the post-war increase time, the U.S. movie world is beginning to take very frequent Roman holidays as soon as once more.
“Italy, lately, is experiencing a brand new renaissance within the film trade,” says Alessandra Rainaldi, commerce commissioner of the Italian Commerce Company’s (ITA) Los Angeles workplace. “That is because of a stronger technique to develop into a film-friendly vacation spot on the worldwide market and a mix of various instruments.”
Maybe probably the most main software stays Cinecittà itself, which, at almost 100 acres, remains to be Europe’s largest movie studio. It was the brainchild of Benito Mussolini — he inaugurated it himself in 1937 — to each generate propaganda and recharge the then-wilting Italian moviemaking scene. It solely flourished, nonetheless, after 1948, boosted by funds from the USA’ Marshall Plan, created to assist pummeled European economies. And now, “Cinecittà’s legacy [includes] over 3,000 movies in its 80-plus-year historical past,” Rainaldi highlights. “No less than 51 of them have gained Academy Awards and have become worldwide masterpieces.”
Quick-forward to 2021 and Cinecittà was awarded a large sum for funding from Italy’s wedge of the EU’s post-pandemic restoration fund, introduced by Italy’s then-Prime Minister Mario Draghi throughout a press convention on the studios themselves, with European Fee President Ursula von der Leyen in attendance. Since then, Cinecittà has been dwelling to greater than 50 productions. Its CEO, Nicola Maccanico, is reported to have stated that occupancy ranges have elevated from 30 p.c to 80 p.c, and the studio is worthwhile as soon as extra. There are additionally rumored to be ambitions so as to add 5 extra soundstages, in addition to affirmation of extra worldwide partnerships.
The sheer quantity of movie historical past additionally implies that there at the moment are tons of of expert and skilled professionals based mostly in Italy and absolutely able to work behind the scenes for whole manufacturing cycles, from capturing to postproduction, distribution to promotion.
“Cinecittà is the previous, the current and future for the Italian film trade,” Rainaldi says. “It will probably mix its long-standing legacy and the artwork of up to date motion pictures to develop into a brand new enticing website for worldwide productions, providing each a wealthy historical past and infrastructure for movie and tv manufacturing and a longtime setting for brand spanking new motion pictures and tales, chosen by administrators and producers for movies, documentaries, TV collection and music movies.”
Current standout examples embrace HBO/Max’s The White Lotus, which introduced nice visibility to Italian appearing expertise; Lastly Daybreak with Lily James, which was shot at Cinecittà and chronicles a younger actress’ expertise capturing a film on the studio in its ’60s heyday; and The Little Mermaid, which was filmed on Sardinia’s shores, each using an enormous native manufacturing workforce and involving the Environmental Workplace of the area to ensure biodiversity safety.
“Now we’re very excited for the immigration drama Me Captain,” or Io Capitano, says Rainaldi of the movie by Matteo Garrone. “It gained the Silver Lion for greatest route on the Venice Movie Competition, and we hope it is going to symbolize Italy on the Oscars.”
In fact, what has additional made Cinecittà and Italy more and more interesting to American filmmakers is its tax incentives. “It’s one of the vital aggressive movie tax credit in Europe, presently below revision, with vital fiscal advantages for capturing in Italy,” explains Rainaldi. “A 40 p.c tax credit score of the eligible price of the worldwide manufacturing, for a most of 20 million euros ($21 million) per yr, allotted by way of an Italian government producer.”
Italy itself additionally presents a lot of various landscapes to shoot in, from distinctive historic and cultural landmarks and structure to its pure, nearly antique-like mild.
“Regional range and specificity are a further attraction as a result of they supply an inexhaustible supply of inspiration and broaden the vary of setting alternatives,” says Cristina Priarone, president of IFC Italian Movie Commissions. “It’s a range that’s extremely sought-after and appreciated by the American public. All this has each elevated the variety of productions and lengthened the keep within the territories of productions with bigger initiatives.”
Rainaldi places ahead lesser-known areas to shoot in, too. “Southern Apennines and the area of Calabria supply beautiful landscapes with historic villages and a way of untouched Italy. Le Marche has a various vary of landscapes, from hills and vineyards to pristine coastlines. There’s town of Turin that served as capital of Italy and your entire Piedmont area, which presents an distinctive assortment of palaces. The portal Italy for Motion pictures [italyformovies.com] is a superb software to discover all our manufacturing places.”
Certainly, the movie commissions themselves — nonprofit entities the place motion-media manufacturing crews (together with motion pictures, tv and commercials) discover regional and nationwide assist and recommendation for permits, places and native providers — have additionally performed a big function in firing up Italy’s worldwide movie trade, by way of coordinated advertising methods and fostering shut, long-term relationships with international operators. “Italy is wealthy in alternatives and able to accogienza [welcome] with professionalism, creativity and nice talent,” Priarone says.
Serving to talk this buzz within the U.S. is the brand new web site italymeetshollywood.com, launched final yr by the Italian Commerce Company workplace in Los Angeles. “The location is to assist us in our double mission: To assist the distribution of Italian audiovisual merchandise within the U.S. and entice U.S. productions to Italy, facilitating the connection between American filmmakers — producers, writers, administrators — with Italian counterparts,” explains Rainaldi. An area the place professionals can keep knowledgeable and set up such partnerships, the Market part introduces key gamers from either side of the Atlantic, whereas the bimonthly e-newsletter consists of interviews with distinguished figures from the American audiovisual trade, resembling Nancy Cotton, government vp, scripted programming at Epix, and Lionsgate exec Sandra Stern.
So what of Italy’s presence at AFM? Will this second coming of Hollywood on the Tiber come nearer to precise Hollywood?
“The American Movie Market is without doubt one of the best marketplaces the place manufacturing and distribution offers are finalized,” says Rainaldi. “For this reason ITA is bringing a delegation of 11 firms — distributors, producers and movie commissions — to Los Angeles, offering them with entry to the epicenter of the worldwide leisure trade. AFM serves as a novel platform for our firms to community with key trade gamers.”