Rutelli: “Cinema is growing, now let the Italian star system grow in the world”

Interview with the president of Anica: “Positive signs of recovery but a further leap in quality is needed”

“The signs are positive and the dynamic is one of growth: now, we need to make a leap in quality and I am confident for the immediate future.” This is what he underlines Francesco Rutellipresident of Anica, the national association of the cinematographic, audiovisual and digital industries, interviewed by AdnKronos on the present and future of cinema in Italy, between the Venice Exhibition just closed and the Rome Festival which is about to open. “The cinemas are in solid and constant recovery – he reports – The public has returned, the summer marked a notable success and now we need to continue to grow. We will certainly have good results from the Italian films presented in Venice and from others arriving, as well that from American and international programming. The picture certainly bears a positive sign and also marks an affirmation of the Soft Power Italian in the world”.

Rutelli observes: “There were several awards, not just for the film Garrone in Venice but to Italian works and performers in other festivals and the Rome festival will only confirm this positive trend”. As for the need referred to by Pierfrancesco Favinoin favor of Italian interpreters for Italian roles and characters, “is a completely respectable debate, but it concerns producers, directors and actors, certainly not the president ofAnica. These are very slippery issues, but the fundamental point is that we must grow the Italian star system, so that our actors and actresses are known and appreciated and can also work abroad in international productions.”

Returning to cinemas, according to the president of Anica “it is now clear that it is not an alternative: people who see films in streaming are ready to go to theaters if the product attracts them and vice versa”. And “the promotion of the film in theaters at 3.5 euros desired by the government, by the Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano and by the special commitment of the undersecretary at Mic Lucia Borgonzoni in particular, it had the value of confirming that there cannot be a ‘dead’ period for theatrical cinema, helping the promotion of products which then went on to grow in takings. We hope that this promotion, given the three-year commitment promised by the government, becomes irreversible and not an emergency measure, because it helps stabilize use twelve months a year.” A bit like off-season tourism… “Exactly . And moreover, this ‘seasonality’ was entirely Italian and it has been shown that it can be overcome permanently.”

Rutelli recalls that “in Italy we have recently paid a high price for… Covidbut we must not forget that the most viewed Italian films are those by YouTubers dedicated to very young people and that the boom in ‘Barbie’ was accompanied by an enormous presence of boys and girls in the cinemas, with over 4.3 million total spectators, a truly very high number.” As for the reappearance of a Covid alarm for the autumn, he assures: “We are not worried about the immediate future, on the Covid front. Obviously if there are security emergencies the government will decide but I wouldn’t take a negative ‘mood’.”

If anything, adds Rutelli, “if this phase of crisis and strike in Hollywood were unfortunately to continue, it would open up immediate additional opportunities for Italian productions, if they have the ability to address an international audience and to this we will dedicate various initiatives such as Anica, both during the Mia, the international audiovisual market, which at the Rome Film Festival, to resume the dialogue on the future of the film industry. The supply chain is integrated and everyone has now understood that the success of the industry is based on the combination of creativity and product quality on the one hand and industrial integration between theatres, TV and streaming: this condition cannot be ignored.”

(Of Enzo Bonaiuto)