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Olivia Musini

Producer on the Move 2014 - Italy

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- Encounter with Olivia Musini, producer at Cinemaundici and Producer on the Move 2014 for the European Film Promotion

Olivia Musini

Cineuropa: You are bringing various new projects to Cannes. Cinemaundici is historically tied to Ermanno Olmi, a master of Italian cinema, who is completing his film on World War I (which was now 100 years ago). But there is also much curiosity for the next film by the Taviani brothers, which was inspired by Decameron. Could you tell us more about the production of these films?
I can first of all say that it has been an honour producing such important films, whether because of the stories that they tell or because of the directors behind them. Torneranno i prati by Ermanno Olmi, co-produced with Ipotesi Cinema and Rai Cinema, is currently going through editing phases and we believe it will be a great film for the absolute original approach with which Olmi confronts the theme of conflict within the context of the anniversary of World War I. The Taviani brothers on the other hand are currently on set in Tuscany with Maraviglioso Boccaccio, co-produced by Stemal, Rai Cinema, French Bis Films and with support from Eurimages. A new take of Boccaccio’s masterpiece with a star-studded cast. Among them Jasmine Trinca, Kim Rossi Stuart, Riccardo Scamarcio, Kasia Smutniak, Paola Cortellesi. Foreign sales are being taken care of by MK2.

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As well as the great names mentioned, there are Leonardo Guerra Seràgnoli and Alberto Caviglia. And Francesco Munzi, a young director sensitive to the themes of integration and the clash between cultures, which now with Anime nere confronts the darker side of the Italian coast…
Cinemaundici productions include works by great cinema maestros as well as young newcomers like Munzi, who have already become well known in Italy and abroad at festivals, and who represent for us a high quality guarantee. We are developing various projects and we are always on the lookout for interesting stories, talented filmmakers and pieces of work with an international aspect, which might facilitate co-production with other countries.

What are your expectations when it comes to Producers on The Move?
In 2009, I took part in a European level master’s organised by the MEDIA fund MegaPlus, and it was a fundamental experience that helped me understand the importance of creating international networks. To have the possibility of getting to know producers in other countries is increasingly necessary for our work. I expect to create new networks with producers in order to build shared professional paths. I believe in this collaboration a lot, as well as in teamwork. Structuring a film with economic and artistic contributions from different countries really enhances the film’s value. 

Your company has long since set up collaboration relationships with France. You already know about cinema co-production models. Yet Italian cinema still holds back in creating relationships internationally.
Honestly, I think co-productions are increasingly necessary and that, just like us, many are following a similar path. Especially in a moment of crisis like this one, collaboration between countries including in the cinema sector is essential. Co-productions are increasingly determining factors in the building of financial plans, beyond adding value, an international breath of fresh air and enhancing possibilities for the film to be distributed internationally.

Anita B [+see also:
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by Roberto Faenza, co-produced by Cinemaundici, has become a case study because it was forced to only come out in a limited number of cinemas, pushing the director to speak out against the “undisturbed oligopoly of the distribution market,” which takes away diverse opportunities from the public, “signing its own death warrant.” It is true that the current market structure discourages independent producers and distributors. What do you think of this?
There are objective difficulties in terms of accessing cinemas, which is one of the reasons producers seek out greater international visibility. I think however, as proven by some recent releases, that we should not be too worried. Even small, independent films, which are more difficult to sell from a commercial perspective – if distributed in an attentive way – can find their own way. The public is the one to decide. It is true that many independent films and documentaries come out in a limited amount of cinemas, but if the public wants cinemas to increase, they can. It is worth remembering that the number of Italian films in 2013 were 161, compared to 127 in 2012.

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