One aspect that really takes Ficci-Frames 2007 to an evolved stage is the decision to invite a partner country and in the debut year, the chosen one is Italy. The participation of the country was seen in the presence of Italian stars like Giancarlo Giannini, Anna Galiena and the Oscar winner Nicola Piovani, 40 stalls and a business delegation led by Italian Minister of Communications Paolo Gentiloni Silveri and Anica (Italian Film Producers Association) president Paolo Ferrari.
The Italian pavilion, set up by the Italian trade commission is hosting Italian companies and institutions such as Festa del Cinema Roma, Cinecitta Holding, Filmitalia, and the regional film commission for Lazio, Umbria and Piemonte. Bilateral business meetings are also organised by both the trade commission and Ficci.
The first day, soon after the inaugural session, saw a reserved meeting between the Italian communications minister Gentiloni and his host Priyaranjan Dasmunsi, signifying the importance both the partners give to the budding bilateral relations.
Italy is the first country to have signed a co-production agreement with India for producing films. The purpose of this agreement is to increasingly use Italian locations for Indian movies, to increase collaboration in animation and post-production and to foster transfer of know-how in the field of old film restoration.
“This is the very first time that a foreign country has the possibility to be a ‘partner country’ at Ficci-Frames. Thanks to the many countries involved and the very interesting programme Frames represents an open window on the Indian entertainment industry and a very useful business opportunity for the companies in this domain. This is the most relevant event for the movie and audiovisual industry in the whole of Asia, promoted by Ficci and by the Indian government,” observed Gentiloni.
He continued to note that “the choice of Italy as the partner country was the result of the collaboration between Confindustria and Ficci, which in the past have jointly developed many initiatives in other sectors such as fashion and design.”
The increasing international success of the Indian movies, the largest in the world with more than 800 flicks being rolled out annually, may find an extraordinary opportunity in collaborating with the Italian excellence in this sector. Suffice to say that the Rome-based Cinecitta’ Studios is the most important one in entire Europe.
Italy can offer to the Indian movie industry historic sites and countryside, on top of which interesting fiscal incentives are available.
Renewing a Relationship
It was also officially announced that India will be the guest of honour for the forthcoming edition of Rome Film Fest (October 2007). The region of Lazio has officially sponsored the concert of Maestro Nicola Piovani (Oscar winner for the soundtrack of ‘La vita e’ bella’) that will enrich Frames 2007 with an intense emotional side.
In a show of confidence for a long-term partnership between the two countries, Ficci, represented by its secretary general Amit Mitra, and its entertainment committee chairman Yash Chopra and Filas (financial investment agency of the region of Lazio) represented by its director-general Stefano Turi and Lazio region councillor for vulture, entertainment and sport Giulia Rodano signed an MoU that promises to set new benchmarks in the Indo-Italian entertainment trade.
The MoU covers sectors such as digital technologies and applications, multimedia, cinema production and post-production, animation, photography, music, and publishing among others. The activities foreseen in it includes identify and promote opportunities for joint projects and co-production arrangements in the cinematographic, audiovisual and media sectors through industry co-production and networking meetings. It also promotes and reinforces the joint participation to the EU framework programmes and other relevant EU and international financing schemes.
This agreement will investigate and identify financial resources both in the public and private domains in both the countries, able to support joint innovations and industry projects and facilitate audiovisual co-production agreements amongst audiovisual production companies from the two countries to help develop cinematographic and audiovisual industries in the two markets. It will also facilitate participation in key media festivals, trade events and conferences in each other's countries.
Among other important announcements, major events in Italy, including the presentation of the Rome Film Festival, shall be exhibited at Frames. The Italian gala night is being sponsored by the Italian trade commission and the region of Lazio, where the Oscar winning pianist Maestro Nicola Piovani will perform, promises to be a highpoint of Frames. He will perform renditions from his popular film soundtracks, and images from the movies will be screened, while he plays.