Box office revenues on the rise
Venice Film Festival: The controversial participation of Netflix and the latest edition of the Sala Web initiative
The Traitor selected as Italy's Oscar candidate, and the creation of a coproduction fund for Franco-Italian works.
Box office takings for the first six months of 2019 show a 5% rise compared to the same period in 2018, despite the fact that the first quarter of the year produced only grim results, with a slump of 10% in comparison to the first quarter of 2018, which itself was a lackluster period. However, in the fall figures were announced showing a 40% increase in theatrical revenues over the summer period, boosted by the Moviement initiative which saw the mobilization of a wide range of public institutions, distributors, and exhibitors with the aim of offering attractive movie programing in theaters at a time of the year when audience numbers are typically low and the release of films is virtually frozen by the industry. The Moviement initiative was set up to put an end to this customary stagnation of the market during the summer, and has gained the support of all branches of the sector. An initial three-year term has been launched in 2019 with a mission to ensure that American blockbusters are programmed in the summer (July and August) along with auteur films with strong commercial potential.
VENICE FILM FESTIVAL
The inclusion (once again) of Netflix productions at the Venice Film Festival was criticized by the UNIC (International Union of Cinemas). Two titles produced by Netflix featured in this year's Official Competition: Laundromat by Steven Soderbergh and Marriage Story by Noah Baumbach.
The 8th edition of the Sala Web event at the Venice Film Festival was downsized this year, with 5 feature films from the festival's out-of-competition sections Orizzonti and Sconfini accessible for online viewing (with the number of "places" limited to 1,000). This operation is spearheaded by Festival Scope in partnership with the Italian viewing platform MyMovies. The price for a single film screening was set at €4 and a pass to watch five films available at €10.
The Traitor by Marco Bellochio (which was presented in the Official Competition at Cannes this year) has been chosen as Italy's entry to the Oscars in the Best International Film category.
The CNC and the MIBAC took advantage of the Venice event to announce the launch of a €1 million support fund (replacing the previous development fund valued at €500,000) to finance Franco-Italian film productions at the development or production stage and television productions at the development stage. The first Call for Projects was issued on September 12, 2019, with submissions accepted up until October 31.