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Irene Bignardi • Filmitalia's President

FilmItalia takes documentary abroad

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Irene Bignardi • Filmitalia's President

In Filmitalia's Roman headquarters, its president, in the position since July 28, is preparing the international promotion campaigns for 2007 with very little money and a lot of imagination. For many years she was the special correspondent and critic for the "La Repubblica" newspaper, and she has written a number of books. She has also been director of major international festivals like Locarno (on the heels of Marco Muller) and was Giorgio Gosettis "partner" both at the MystFest and for Notti veneziane.

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Can we expect novelty or continuity in the Bignardi management of the former Italia Cinema agency?
Irene Bignardi: The work that has always been carried out with tremendous professionalism will continue: support for Italian cinema at the major international festivals, and the single-themed events like the tribute to Marco Tullio Giordana at BAM in Brooklyn, which has recently ended.

Is there any good news?
I would say yes. We had nine works at the London Film Festival, including cui The Wedding Director by Marco Bellocchio, The Caiman [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jean Labadie
interview: Nanni Moretti
film profile
]
by Nanni Moretti and L'aria salata [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Alessandro Angelini
film profile
]
by Alessandro Angelini. There are also good prospects for Berlin: we can already reveal that there will be an interesting presence of Italian cinema at the festival. This is certainly a good time for Italian cinema and it is worth noting the start of a star system for young performers. Obviously were not at the heights reached by Marcello Mastroianni and Sofia Loren, who is still a worldwide female icon at the age of 70. But Monica Bellucci is as popular as Sofia and Raul Bova has won over the American TV audience with his participation in serials.

You are also working in more unexplored territories.
We are finalising a series of special programmes, one which I would like to announce straight away. It is called Doc Doc and will feature a series of very interesting, already acclaimed recent documentaries, including Primo Levi's Journey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Davide Ferrario, seen at the RomeFilmFest, The Session is Open by Vincenzo Marra screened in Venice, Excellent Cadavers by Marco Turco awarded with an Italian Golden Globe and Workers by Tommaso Cotronei, successfully received at its presentation in the Video Competition at Locarno. The great success of the Italian documentary in the last two or three years is down to more than one factor, but it probably stems from the fact that while large scale productions cost too much to make, non-fiction manages to have contained costs, with an engaging plot where reality makes dominant inroads. So two out of the six Italian films at Toronto were documentaries.

What has changed over the years for the promotion of Italian cinema?
Promotion has become more diffused, now it is not just Berlin, Toronto or Locarno but also Tallin, Wellington and Anchorage. Filmitalia wants to get Italian cinema known abroad also to spread an image of Italy in the world. The other, equally important aspect, is the cultural side.

What are the strategic territories for promotion?
We are paying particular attention to India, also because of the imminent visit of Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi, in February 2007. We are continuing the work already started in Japan, culminating this year in an "Italian Spring in Tokyo" with films, concerts, books and other cultural events.

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