Foreword by Sandro Bondi




The yearly statistical publication European Cinema Yearbook, the fruit of painstaking work by MEDIA Salles and published thanks to the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, is a vital tool for a state-of-the-art knowledge of the cinema industry and cinema-going in the Euro-Mediterranean area. Highly useful figures, compared to those of other important world markets, which also make it possible to carry out a thorough analysis of the audiovisual scenario in our country, where significant signs of a renaissance in domestic production are reaching us thanks to important films that have won considerable recognition internationally.

All this comes at an important moment for Italian legislation on the cinema, which has seen the introduction of innovative defiscalisation measures acknowledged and pointed to as an example in Europe.

On 22 July the European Commission did in fact authorize the second package of fiscal incentives for the cinema proposed by the Italian Government, i.e. tax credit and alleviation of tax on income related to expenditure and investments for the production and distribution of films with cultural merit by companies not belonging to the audio-visual and cinema industry, as well as by distribution and exhibition companies.

This comes as a further considerable success, following last December’s for producers, and at the end of long and complex negotiations with the EU. The approval of tax credit for companies outside the cinema industry who may decide to invest in quality films is an important element for the future of this sector in Italy. It opens up considerable scenarios, given the vast area of interested parties who might become a channel of resources for the production of films. Not to mention the incentives to distributors, which should allow for a better circulation of works of cultural merit.

This result has been obtained thanks to all those who gave their contribution, in particular the Italian Foreign Minister, Mr Frattini, who, through the work of his Cabinet and the Italian Representation in Brussels, provided constant practical support to the joint MiBAC and Ministry of the Economy work group.

A further important measure, awaited by the cinema exhibition sector, regards fiscal incentives for the introduction of digital technology in theatres. In their decision of 22 July, the EU Commission agreed not to express an opinion – given that the EU does not yet have a policy or definite “guidelines” on the issue – but, for the same reason, to open up “public consultation” with the other EU countries on this important matter, starting from the input of the Italian measure described. In agreement with the EU authorities, this public consultation will culminate in a special European workshop to be held on 21 October during the States General of the cinema at the IV International Film Festival in Rome. The outcome of this day’s work, which will see the participation of national and EU institutions and associations, will be of the greatest importance with a view to achieving rapid and practical implementation in Italy for this specific form of support.

These are all provisions whose impact, which I expect to be considerable, we shall be able to measure in a few years’ time, thanks also to tools such as the laudable European Cinema Yearbook. This is why I should like to express my sincere appreciation of the work scrupulously and expertly carried out by MEDIA Salles, whose fruits are clearly to be seen in the following pages and which will as always, I am certain, be of great use to those who work in the world of the cinema.

Sandro Bondi
Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities