Venice’s Focus on China sees Italy, China, the USA and India come together
- Organised by ANICA, the event offered five panel discussions over three days, with contributions from over 40 speakers, enhanced by the presence of new partner India
Unspooling on the city’s Lido between 5 - 7 September, Venice’s Focus on China was organised as part of the Venice Production Bridge event - on the occasion of the latter’s fifth edition - and was enhanced by a new partner, India. The three-day gathering was co-ordinated by ANICA in collaboration with the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities and for Tourism, the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Biennale di Venezia.
With five panel discussions unfolding over the course of three days between 5-7 September, and contributions from upwards of 40 speakers hailing from Italy, China, the US and India, the option of online access proved crucial to the high quantities and quality of the Focus on China event, allowing those unable to travel to the Lido to also take part in the event.
This “mixed” participation more than made up for the lack of a physical professional audience - whose numbers were limited for health and safety reasons - with several hundred industry pros signing in remotely to follow the meetings (all videos can be found online via the new portal italianpavilion.it).
Opened by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ Under-Secretary Manlio Di Stefano and moderated by ANICA’s Head of International Relations Roberto Stabile, the panel unfurling Saturday 5 September kick-started discussions on Italy-China collaborations, offering up a map of the film projects currently in co-production (animated project Anna Yueh-Love Comes in Winter, presented by Cristian Jezdic, and Marco Polo e il rubino del Balasciam, presented by Cartoon Italia chair Anne-Sophie Vanhollebeke, not to mention Dietro un mondo nuovo by Giorgio Pasotti and SuperLeague produced by Sandro Silvestri ) as well as opening up the floor to RAI Cinema CEO Paolo Del Brocco.
Another panel discussion homed in on the case history of Toscana Promozione Turistica and presented a preview of a series of films aimed at promoting Tuscany. The latter were co-produced with CITVC (China’s international state-owned TV channel) who are set to broadcast these films to the vast audiences of China and Asia between now and next spring.
Co-production work aside, the many other incarnations of Italian-Chinese collaboration formed the focus of various, successive panels, such as the discussion dedicated to Italy’s participation - as Guest Country of Honour - in the Silk Road Film Festival, due to unfold in Xian.
The final day of talks, meanwhile, was opened by a focus on India, a country which took part in meetings with China and the US for the very first time, this year. Over the course of the next decade, India will impose itself as a world power, warned Di Stefano, quoting a recent study commissioned by Farnesina: that’s why it is one of the top target countries for the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ activities, particularly in the film and audiovisual field where India boasts huge production capabilities and vast potential audiences.
For his part, the Italian ambassador to India Vincenzo De Luca provided an update on collaborative relations between the two “cultural superpowers”, while an incentive to accelerate cooperation between the two countries was delivered by Prakash Javadekar of India’s Ministry for Information and Broadcasting, and Dilip Chenoy, General Secretary for the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry, which also organises FICCI Frames, the Indian film industry’s biggest international convention which was held in virtual form this July, with a focus dedicated to Italy.
Last but not least, on the subject of the co-production agreement which currently exists between the two countries, which was recently signed but is not yet fully functional, Maria Giuseppina Troccoli, head of MiBACT’s DG Cinema, reassured audiences that “we’re now very close to getting the sign-off on the procedural rules which would allow for the full recognition of co-productions”.
In collaboration with
(Translated from Italian)
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