Cinecitta Holding's board of directors has said they will resign in a unanimous inside decision that exiting President Alessandro Battisti said was motivated by Italy's change in government after April's national elections put Silvio Berlusconi back in power.
As part of his new government, Berlusconi appointed Sandro Bondi Culture Minister. While it is normal that a new Minister enacts changes over state run cultural entities (like Cinecitta Holding) Battisti and his board decided to cut their mandate short (which expired in July 2009) of their own accord.
'I didn't resign by myself,' Battisti told Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera. 'It was a unanimous decision of the board and meant to underline two things: first ours was a decision in consideration for the public. Secondly, our cinema has too many urgent matters to resolve. One government nominated us, now that government has changed. Staying on didn't make sense.'
In any case, a restructuring of Cinecitta Holding, an important entity here, could likely be on Minister Bondi's agenda.
Cinecitta Holding owns 25% of Rome's Cinecitta Studios (the remaining 75% is private) and oversees Filmitalia (the Italian body for film promotion abroad), Istituto Luce and the financially ailing exhibition unit Media Port.
No comment was available from the Culture Minister Bondi's office because they are still waiting for an official letter of resignation, while insiders at Filmitalia and Cinecitta Holding expressed that they too were 'in the dark' to comment.
Prior to the national elections in April, Cinecitta Holding's board of directors voted to end the autonomy enjoyed by Filmitalia as a cost cutting measure - which seems a bit ironic now that the board who voted for those changes, has disbanded of their own accord.
At the time, that decision drew ire from Italy's film making community who expressed solidarity with Filmitalia for its streamlined procedures in promoting their films. Leading producers like Domenico Procacci and Roberto Cicutto who have both recently used Cinecitta Studios to service films such as Silk (directed by Francois Girard and co - produced by Procacci) as well as Spike Lee's Miracle at St. Anna (Produced by Cicutto's On My Own) were among those that opposed changes to Filmitalia.
Exactly what the new minister will do - and when - is up in the air.
Some suggest that Gaetano Blandini, head of the culture ministry's film division who has worked during both right and left governments - could be set in as interim chief until Bondi either revamps the existing structure, sets a new board in place or decides on another way to proceed.