Italian national cinema has moved into a new era with the merger between two of Italy’s most venerable cinema organisations, Cinecitta Holdings and Instituto Luce.

The merger follows a year long cost cutting project, headed by Italian culture ministry’s cinema director Gaetano Blandini. FilmItalia, which is responsible for promoting local film abroad, will also be integrated into the new body.

The single public film body is part of Blandini’s plan to reduce cut administrative costs on a functional level, which also included the sale of debt-ridden cinema chain Mediaport, and inject new life into Italian cinema, particularly as the country’s new tax incentive is introduced.

Under President Roberto Cicutto and CEO Luciano Sovena, who were both in Cannes yesterday (May 19) to launch the new outfit, Cinecitta Luce will have around $24.4m (€18m) in public funding this year to invest in its many activities, which includes everything from archives, promotion, distribution support and investment in production.

Also in Cannes yesterday was Gaetano Blandini, who – during his time as Director of Cinecitta Holding – drove through the changes leading to the creation of the new super agency, which is expected to fulfill a role similar to that of the CNC in France.

Other structural changes have been made that are expected to save the new agency at least a $1.3m (€1m) a year. However, no jobs should be lost in the immediate future.

Well-connected industry veteran Cicutto (founder of Aura Film Company and co-founder of Mikado) will operate as a heavyweight lobbyist and ambassador for Italian cinema. “The future for me is the reason I accepted this position,” he said yesterday. “As a producer and distributor, I will try to provide the professionals with what they need.”