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Italy's FICE launches “Arthouse Summer” with a plea not to abandon cinemas

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- The Italian Federation of Arthouse Film is promoting a high-quality film offering for the summer period as cinema operators continue to suffer from audience erosion following the pandemic

Italy's FICE launches “Arthouse Summer” with a plea not to abandon cinemas
Where Life Begins by Stéphane Freiss

“In 2019, The Traitor [+see also:
film review
trailer
Q&A: Marco Bellocchio
film profile
]
, which was released straight after the Cannes Film Festival, made 5 million Euros at the box office. This year, Nostalgia [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mario Martone
film profile
]
, also released in the wake of Cannes and starring the same protagonist, Pierfrancesco Favino, barely earned 1 million”. This is how Domenico Dinoia, Chair of FICE – the Italian Federation of Arthouse Film, illustrates the deep crisis miring down Italian cinemas in this post-pandemic period. He was speaking in Rome during the presentation of the nineth edition of “Arthouse Summer. Premieres in Cinemas”, an initiative promoting high-quality film in the summer period, which has turned into a cry for help voiced by cinema operators who are urging audiences not to abandon movie theatres.

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“Cinemas are struggling to overcome the difficulties caused by two long years of the pandemic, with prolonged, strict measures of containment on the one hand and an explosion in domestic film consumption on the other”, Dinoia explains. “Yet policies aimed at ensuring visibility, promotion and vital spaces for the cinema market, especially for arthouse films, to help them contend with other, far more economically powerful works, are still thin on the ground”.

Regulation over exclusivity windows which singles out cinemas as a central element in the release chain, for foreign films too, and a rule stipulating percentages to be paid to cinemas for use of these works, are two of the options suggested by professionals in order to avoid numerous cinemas definitively closing their doors.

Meanwhile, arthouse cinema operators are battling on as best they can, reviving Italian and European arthouse film over the summer, “a period in which it makes more sense to work in the interests of a selective audience who want to be stimulated”, according to FICE Vice-President Giuliana Fantoni. This year’s edition of “Arthouse Summer. Premieres in Cinemas” foresees a programme of 12 fiction feature films and a selection of recent documentaries, for which the Federation will ensure widespread broadcasting and promotion in June, July and August, across the 400+ cinemas taking part in the scheme.

The selected films are (in order of their release):  Madeleine Collins [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Antoine Barraud
film profile
]
by Antoine Barraud, Lo chiamavano Trinità (restored edition) by E.B. Clucher, The Odd-Job Men [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Neus Ballús
film profile
]
by Neus Ballus, Where Life Begins [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Stéphane Freiss, Lovers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicole Garcia
film profile
]
by Nicole Garcia, The Peacock’s Paradise [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Laura Bispuri
film profile
]
by Laura Bispuri, Elvis by Baz Luhrmann, Casablanca Beats [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Nabil Ayouch, The Young Lovers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Carine Tardieu, Secret Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Eva Husson
film profile
]
by Eva Husson, Rimini [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ulrich Seidl
film profile
]
by Ulrich Seidl and 200 Meters [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ameen Nayfeh
film profile
]
by Ameen Nayfeh.

High-quality documentaries hitting cinemas in the summer months include Los Zuluagas [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Flavia Montini, Jane By Charlotte [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Charlotte Gainsbourg, The Princess [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Ed Perkins, Yoko [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Maria Iovine, Hong Kong’s Revolution of Our Time by Kiwi Chow, and the USA’s All the Streets Are Silent by Jeremy Elkin.

The full list of titles screening in this 2022 edition of “Arthouse Summer” can be found here.

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(Translated from Italian)

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