Over the years, the European Cinema Yearbook, published by MEDIA Salles with the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities in the context of the European Union’s MEDIA Programme, has become a fundamental tool for comparing cinema-going in as many as thirty-four European countries, using precise indicators. An essential seismograph for the cinema industry which focuses on key points for the future of this sector. These ranges, for example, from an analysis of the development of multiplexes and the technological equipment in film theatres to monitoring the production of full-length and short films, not forgetting admissions and box-office, right up to the market shares of American, European and national distributors.
I note a precise, meticulous, useful and abundant study of the data, enabling an analysis of the situation on Europe’s cinema markets, which nonetheless succeeds in considering films as more than a mere product. Another essential feature is the use made of this publication as an indispensable almanac for making forecasts regarding cinema markets, with a view to an improved position internationally. A commitment to collecting, elaborating and circulating data on a sector that I am deeply attached to, both as a private consumer of cinematographic art and as Minister, and one on which, ever since my appointment, I have kept a fond eye.
I feel I can safely speak of a positive moment for Italian cinema. The new system of support for the cinema relies on two levers of intervention: on the one hand we have direct contributions, reviewed, corrected, rationalised and made more efficient by the 2004 reform, and on the other the tax facilitations introduced in the 2008 budget and recently renewed up until 31 December 2013, which, when added to the renewed financing for the FUS*, allows me to work with energy and optimism. We find ourselves experiencing an economic recovery of the Italian cinema industry, which has always been praised and well loved throughout the world. However, this improvement must encourage us never to lower our guard. The measures that have been taken in favour of the cinema and culture in general are tools for guaranteeing our country an adequate level of cultural production in terms of quality and quantity. I am proud to confirm that Italian cinema is once again becoming our visiting card throughout Europe and throughout the world, because, as one of the great masters and founders of Italian cinema, Alessandro Blasetti, once stated: “I fully agree that a film that deserves critical acclaim should not be considered a mere product. But I insist that it must still remain a product too!” A precious and exportable artistic product I might add, to which our history is inevitably linked.
Minister of Cultural Heritage and Activities
* Joint Fund for Show-business