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Negri defends Cornelius Cinema in Kasander financial controversy

Livio Negri, the Italian-based executive producer of Ben Sombogaart’s To Be King, has responded to remarks made about financial problems on the production by the film’s Dutch producer Kees Kasander [pictured].

Negri’s intervention comes amid allegations about the crew not being fully paid for the work done in Italy. (Read original story here.)

“I was the executive producer in charge of the filming in Italy, representing the interest of Mr Kasander and responsible for each Euro spent,” Negri stated. “I knew about problems between Kasander film, the Dutch production company on To Be King, and the Italian executive production company, Cornelius Cinema - problems which had started toward the end of filming in Italy (in May 2012.)”

Negri defended Cornelius Cinema and denied that the company had been hiding financial information.

“The Italian company was specially set up (under the instruction of Mr Kasander) for the filming in Italy and it is run by a film accountant. The purpose was to act as an executive production company in Italy and provide the tax credit as per the Italian fiscal law,” Negri observed.

He said that an audit of Cornelius Cinema had been commissioned by European Film Bonds and undertaken by an independent accounting firm - and “absolutely nothing irregular had been found.”

To Be King was not, Negri said, a Dutch-Italian coproduction but did benefit from Italian tax credit funding. This allows for a foreign production that observes the qualifying rules to benefit from a credit equal to 25% of what the production spends in Italy.

“If Kasander Film has sent to Cornelius Cinema only €900,000, the maximum tax credit gain is equal to only 25% of the amount received and spent in Italy,” Negri said. “It is obvious to anybody that if Kasander Film wanted to receive a tax credit up to €514,000, he had to spend more than €900,000. This is a state law and also pure mathematical calculation.”

The executive producer denied the charge that Cornelius Cinema had not used all the cash flow Kasander sent to pay off the creditors of the film. “I was responsible for the spending of money received by Cornelius Cinema from Kasander Film so I know where every Euro has gone,” he said.”

Negri also insisted that Kasander Film had been provided with all “the necessary information” about the accounts on the film.

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