Italy 's Piedmont region announced the inception of the Piedmont Film Company and the details of its new $33.1 million (Euros 25m) film fund to a packed press conference that was attended by industry insiders, cultural politicians and directors including Gabriele Salvatores and Mario Martone.
Piedmont region President Mercedes Bresso made the region's cinematic ambition clear: the fund is the final piece in the puzzle that the region has been building over the past years with an eye to becoming 'a bright presence in national and international cinema production'. It is co-financed with American capitol, which she said, 'creates an interesting synergy and proves that many foreign investors believe in Italian cinema.'
The fund will work first of all as an investment strategy to boost local economy by attracting films that a private (non-Italian) advisory company will vouch for in terms of box-office potential.
Funding will be set up through a private investment company comprised of Endgame, the Piedmont region and private investors who are still to be named.
Organisers said Endgame was selected 'for their capacity to produce products with a market value, including Hotel Rwanda, Proof and The Brother's Bloom.'
Producers can hope to obtain up to one quarter of the funding for projects that already have three-quarters of their financing set. Or, productions with 50% financing can obtain one-quarter financing plus one-quarter bank collateral from the fund.
The median investment per project will be $1.3-5.3m (Euros 1-4m, with total film budgets reaching $5.3m-$21.2m - Euros 4-16 million) with an eye to being involved in approximately 20 productions.
The only criteria is that 20-25% of the project's budget must be spent in the region. In the selection process, preference will be given to young talent and to projects with a multi-platform distribution plan.
Piedmont's ability to act as movers and shakers in the local film industry has already been seen with the Turin Film Commission, which in less than seven years has become the most powerful of Italy's 21 regional film commissions. Piedmont is also home to the Turin Film Festival, houses the National Cinema Museum and recently set up a documentary fund that will bankroll $662,000 (Euros 500,000) in documentary productions this year.
Steve Della Casa, the Turin Film Commission's president says the first proposals will begin to be taken into consideration as of September 2007.