Foreword by Francesco Rutelli




Following an undeniably difficult period, Italian cinema is at last making up lost ground, with an evident return of audience satisfaction. This is demonstrated by the figures, which indicate a rise in audiences and in box office extending to over 35% of the market share. This change of route is due both to the positive impetus given by successful films and to new creative energy which has been rewarded by the public.
For the first time in fifty years, the new regulatory law is in Parliament, starting out on a journey which, I trust, should be complete by the end of the legislation. Amongst other aspects, particular attention is paid in the text to the work of independent producers: a system to be encouraged and promoted in order to enrich the creative terrain which has always been the key to Italian cinema’s success in the world. A system which, using new legislative means, will be able to enjoy new forms of support and specific, practical tools.
Moreover, on sketching a balance of my first year’s work in the government, I would point out that the objectives that were established have been achieved. As well as the increase in resources assigned to the FUS (Fund for Entertainment) in the 2007 financial low, which envisaged a further 15% yearly rise for 2008 and 2009, to reach 544 million euros in 2009, a sum of resources that is at last larger than it was in 2001 (516 million euros), the project for the new Palazzo del Cinema in Venice has been launched, a project awaited for many years that will see the light of day in 2011, the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Italian Unity. Moreover, for the support and promotion of Italian and European films of a high artistic level on national circuits, there is the new financing for the Quality Screens project, to which 800 cinemas belong, and the approval of new mechanisms foreseen for the production and distribution of films, as well as the bill for the reform of “censorship”.
These measures will be joined by new tools provided for in the 2008 financial law, which will regard the eagerly awaited tax incentives on investments for the cinema. Measures, tax credit and the revision of law 122, which I take very much to heart: I am convinced that Italian and European productions must be present as much as possible on international circuits without losing an iota of the historical cultural identity that has made them, and continues to make them, unmistakable. Italian cinema must grow because it has the potential and must win ever greater space on the global market, until it fills the pages of the Yearbook with even more positive and encouraging data and statistics.
This is the new path to follow, together with a policy of support and thorough and careful promotion. In fact the cinema must not be protected but, if necessary, freed from any obstacle that may slow down its development. The cinema market needs people capable of boosting creativity and ensuring that enterprise and organizational efficiency are worthy of our cinema’s traditions.

Francesco Rutelli
Vice President of the Cabinet and Minister of Cultural Resources and Affair