"The Filmmakers and the new Cinecittà" is the title of a conference organized by the Writers Guild
during the Rome Film Festival
. Thanks to the new Cinema Law and with the acquisition of the Cinecittà Studios
, Istituto Luce
presented itself to the filmmakers, main core of the audio-visual future. The conference discussed how things are changing and how they will change, within the perspective of a desirable synergy between professional categories and institutions. Roberto Cicutto
, President and Managing Director of Istituto Luce-Cinecittà, answered the questions of Massimo Martella (Writers Guild), Francesco Martinotti (ANAC President) and Luca Scivoletto (100 Autori).
Cicutto explained: "12 million Euro have been invested for the constrution of two studio theatres, bigger than those actually existing. This operation makes sense within the perspective of the new Cinema Law as long as Cinecittà is seen as a tool for the development and the profit of the whole audio-visual system. It cannot be seen as a place where you go to get the cheapest services. It can't be only an supply valve. It's a centre for the development of the whole sector, a hub in Rome to attract international productions, also in collaboration with the film commissions. Of course, this must happen without betraying the original mission of supporting 'difficult' films, and first- and second-time director's films, that will find the ideal conditions in Cinecittà. The Law gives money, that can be used either in a good or in a bad way. The good way is not only "give me the money so I can make a film", but means trying to develop the whole sector. As for the studio theatres, we took inspiration from the international model and especially the needs of TV productions which constitutes a significant resource. Today the players invest a lot in the territories. So TV productions are very welcome. First of all we talked to the producers, not because we want to overlook the filmmakers, but just to understand what's their plan for the next three years, in order for us to better plan our production scheme."
More specifically about the filmmakers, Cicutto added: "We won't limit ourself to giving them rooms. We will also be a film museum and a permanent workshop, an international meeting point open to all disciplines with the aim of explaining our work to the public. We are considering adapting the old Luce building in order to create a space for meetings and exchanges. We want to work with a diverse variety of filmmakers in order to link them internationally. They will bringcontents, we will give them the infrastructures they need. Refurbishments are about to start in areas hitherto unused. I explained the producers that the sooner they will start working with us, the sooner we will be autonomous. I don't want go knocking at anybody's door or ask for more public money for the industrial activities. The balance sheet has two columns: the part that is covered by the public contributions must break even and must be the starting point for all the activities concerning the archive, digitalization, promotion of classic cinema, documentary production, distribution of first and second features; then there is the industrial part, which obviously will fall at the beginning. This part must be self-financed, although this entails some difficulties. Moreover, the project originally involved Rai as well, but this is not currently possibile for various reasons. Regarding the governance, we thought of opening another company but the law states that a public company cannot have participations, accordingly all these activities became part of the Luce, and the governance remains the same. We have three managers and the choice was not to appoint a General Manager. Obviously there'll be room for discussion with the filmmakers as we can't go anywhere without contents. Everyone has its own space and role. Privates enters as clients, they must come and generate profit. For the rest, we'll make debts with the banks at a discounted rate."