Cinema talks about cinema: the States General of the sector in Syracuse. Schifani, “Sicily natural set”


By John

An attractive Sicily with great potential which, however, must not be limited to offering only unique places but also adequate hospitality for productions. At Castello Maniace, the extreme tip of the island of Ortigia in Syracuse, the States General of Cinema opened, to talk about film tourism, but also tax credit, artificial intelligence and prospects.

Between debates and talks, over 200 representatives of Italian cinema are taking part in the three-day event. «The magic of cinema enhances our territories, spectators are fascinated by it and choose to spend their holidays in those places – said the Minister of Tourism Daniela Santanché –. This explains how film tourism can generate almost 600 million euros in economic benefits for the filming territories and over 1.34 million visitors. Cinema contributes to creating a positive narrative of our nation, encouraging tourism and increasing its attractiveness at an international level.” For the minister also a slip of the tongue, when he said «I don't think anyone can forget Lucchini's The Leopard», then from the stage he specifies: «I said Lucchini and not Visconti».
Yesterday in Syracuse also Sergio Castellitto, president of the Fondazione Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia, and the writer Pietrangelo Buttafuoco. «To make our Italian cinema attractive and exportable, we need to focus on quality and reduce quantity – underlines director Neri Parenti –. It would be necessary for the films made to become a fifth of the current ones. Many economic and productive resources are wasted, sometimes even on films that are not even distributed. We need to move towards more economical employment, with a more regulated legislative and contribution system. Simply put, more money for less people.”
Directors not convinced about AI: «Artificial intelligence today can make a good story but one that has already been seen, certainly not a masterpiece – explains Paolo Genovese –. But we can take kindness from her.” According to Piero Messina «we are experiencing a process that we are not understanding. But when I find myself faced not with a producer but with an algorithm that criticizes me, I find myself in difficulty.” Finally, on the platforms, Roberta Torre claims: «Well, I have seen extraordinary things, Italian and foreign series. I saw superb languages ​​and discovered actors.”
The initiative of the Sicilian Region, in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Enit, with the scientific direction of Antonella Ferrara and the scientific consultancy of Federico Pontiggia, was attended by the regional councilor for Tourism, sport and entertainment, Elvira Amata: «Numerous production companies now choose Sicily to shoot their films and TV series and this is an added value for our territory. This attention is an incentive for us to organize courses to train workers in the film sector. This is a very important sector, it generates economy but also employment.

The States General represent an important opportunity to get all the players to discuss and come up with a manifesto that can dictate a strategy for the future”, he added. Federico Mollicone, president of the Culture commission in the Chamber, provided some numbers: «Out of 459 cinematographic works supported through the automatic tax credit in the last two years, over 345 have never been released in theaters. Although we must distinguish between films produced for theaters and those for platforms. The new guidelines on tax credit will soon be issued and the rankings on automatic contributions will be released in the coming weeks.” «The tax credit was a very important tool for making the Italian film industry flourish again – states Iginio Straffi, founder and president of the Rainbow Group –. Now in Italy we can compete on equal terms with many other countries where similar instruments have existed for years.”

«In Sicily we have a climate and natural and architectural sets, such as the Maniace castle where we find ourselves today, which are already autonomous locations, they present themselves, ideal for hosting film productions and cinematographic settlements. We have invested more than 20 million in this sector, a further five have been foreseen in the latest budget law.” The President of the Region, Renato Schifani, said this while speaking this morning at the General States of Cinema in Syracuse. «Our island is also ready to help train film producers and actors – he continued – Sicily must become an attractive center for audiovisual productions. But the facts speak for themselves: Makari, or Inspector Montalbano, and many other great productions arrived by themselves. So we must stimulate further interest through the political initiative we are taking, encouraging the arrival of new opportunities, because it is no longer the time only for “La Piovrà”. precise, pragmatic guide for the promotion of the film industry in Sicily. This can represent a key step to strengthen film tourism which has been experiencing non-stop expansion for years and which sees Sicily among the privileged destinations, also with a view to promoting. winter tourism” he concluded.