South Tyrol received the greenlight from the European Commission in Brussels this week.

Italy’s state of received the greenlight from the European Commission in Brussels this week to launch its own film fund BLS Alto Adige with a budget of € 5m for 2011.

Non-refundable grants for the production of theatrical features, TV films, series and documentaries can be applied for irrespective of where the production company is based. The maximum production support granted by BLS amounts to € 1.5m per project and a maximum of € 50,000 for project development or production preparation.

Similar to the policy of other regional funds throughout Europe, BLS will be requiring funded projects to generate an economic territorial  effect of 150% on the allocated subsidy.

Commenting on the establishment of this new fund, producer Karl “Baumi” Baumgartner who was born in South Tyrol, said: “The region is bursting with so much exciting material that has never been shared. That goes for both local authors and for external filmmakers. It’s a question of keeping the former here, and persuading the latter that it’s worthwhile coming to South Tyrol for both material and financial reasons.”

Christina Wertz, Head of the Film Fund and Commission, noted that BLS would try to get regional banks onboard with loans and venture capital in addition to the financing coming through classic film funding.

Last year, in a preparatory start-up phase, the Bolzano-based fund made € 2m available to support visiting projects such as the 12-part TV series L’uomo dei Boschi, starring the veteran Italian actor Terence Hill, and Marcus H. Rosenmüller’s comedy Der Sommer der Gaukler, produced by Uncle Boonmee co-producer Hans W. Geissendörfer.