Italy’s film and television industry could step into the rift created by the double strikes in Hollywood, leading industry executives said at a panel at the Venice Film Festival on Saturday.
“If the supply decreases with Hollywood going on strike, we must also be ready with our products for the international market,” said Francesco Rutelli, president of the Italian national audiovisual association Anica, in a panel led by THR Roma editor-in-chief. chef Concita De Gregorio.
“We need to interpret market changes in real time. And we need the government to enact certain regulations regarding these changes. It is not about changing the rules of the system, but about quickly adapting them to the changed and rapid changes that are taking place.”
Maria Pia Ammirati, director of Rai Fiction, a division of Italy’s national public broadcaster, noted that since the beginning of 2023, international sales of Italian content have increased by 43 percent compared to last year.
Nicola Maccanico, CEO of the legendary studio Cinecittà in Rome, said that the Italian industry has “returned to the level of the 1960s” when Rome was still called “Hollywood on the Tiber” and that the time has come for local filmmakers to ” conquer the world market”. .”
But Giampaolo Letta, vice chairman and CEO of Italian production and distribution giant Medusa noted that the Italian film industry is currently facing major challenges, with rising costs and reduced investment putting pressure on budgets.
“The coming months will be difficult for the industry: the cost of making films has risen by as much as 30 percent, Italian titles are struggling to gain a foothold in the cinema, less investment is being made and therefore there is less risk appetite “, he said. .
The panel had the numbers to back up the claim. The cost per minute for high-end series has fallen by half in just four years, from €113,754 ($122,800) per minute for Pablo Sorrentino’s The new pope and €106,337 ($114,800) for Luca Guadagnino’s We are who we are, both for Sky and HBO, up to €55,393 ($59,800) per minute for Giancarlo Fontana and Giuseppe Stasi’s The bad guy, one Amazon Prime production and €61,445 ($66,350) for Edoardo De Angelis’ Netflix series The lying life of adults.
Benedetto Habib, president of the ANICA Producers Union, noted that we are “competitive” in terms of creativity, but Italian producers need the “economic resources necessary to compete in both the European and international context.”
But “the challenge is not just a question of budgets,” said Letta, “more than budget, it is a question of quality, of creativity. We also welcome foreign investment, but we all have to follow the same rules, including the Italian independent producers.”
Only 20 Italian films have been made in 2023 with budgets over €6 million ($6.5 million), including Venice Saverio Costanzo’s Venice Competition entry Dawn at last and the festival opener by Edoardo de Angelis Comandante. Of those twenty, there are only two: those of Paola Cortellesi It’s ancora domani and that of Alice Rohrwacher La Chimerawere directed by women, and only two, C’è ancora domani and Finally Dawn, had female leads.
The panel stressed the need to protect local production in order to, as Paolo del Brocco, CEO of Rai Cinema, a division of Italy’s public broadcaster, put it, “to continue telling the story of our country.” All panellists called for more solidarity and cooperation between independent producers.
“Nobody wins alone,” said Del Brocco.