Italy is building on its reputation as a world-class filming destination by refurbishing and expanding Cinecitta Studios.
Italy’s renowned Cinecitta Studios in Rome will expand over the next three years in a move that could boost substantially the country’s international appeal. The expansion will be aided with $45.6m (¤37m) in government investment.
Two new sound stages will be built at the facility, one of which will be the studio’s largest. A new water tank is planned. The government money will also help fund refurbishment of the studio’s existing stages and backlot, and will be used to establish new resources including a centre dedicated to tech development for videogame production.
Improvements to Cinecitta Studios should help Italy compete with the production infrastructure offered by its regional rivals throughout Europe.
Italy has enjoyed a resurgent profile as an international filming location over the past few years, in part due to an overhaul of its incentive support. George Clooney was a key creative force behind a TV adaptation of Joseph Heller’s Second World War satire Catch-22 that filmed in Rome and Sardinia over the summer of 2018. Two John Paul Getty III projects — 20th Century Fox’s feature All The Money In The World, directed by Ridley Scott, and FX’s TV series Trust, directed in part by Danny Boyle — shot around Italy in 2017, while Garth Davis’s Mary Magdalene (pictured above) filmed in Sicily and southern Italy.
Scheduled international productions for this year include CrossDay Productions’ comedy Made In Italy, set to star James D’Arcy, that will shoot on location in Tuscany. The film’s local producer is Nicola Serra of Rome-based Palomar.
The Italian Film Commissions association comprises 16 regional offices that offer on-the-ground information on everywhere from the Italian Alps to the Renaissance cities of Florence and Siena.
Italy offers a tax credit of up to 30%, with up to $12.3m (€10m) available per producer claiming the credit. One of the main qualifying criteria is that Italian financial support must not exceed 60% of the total production budget.
For full details on financial incentives in Italy check with Italian Film Commissions.
Infrastructure and crews
Cinecitta Studios has nearly two-dozen stages located just six miles from central Rome. The studios offer extensive production offices and dressing rooms, and a large outdoor water tank. Recently, Timur Bekmambetov’s adaptation of Ben-Hur and HBO drama The Young Pope have filmed at Cinecitta. Producers also have access to permanent sets at Videa Studios in the Veio Reserve near Rome and Studios s.r.l., also in the capital.
Italy is a peninsula of 300,000 sq km, and mountains make travelling between regions easiest by plane. Every region has its own film commission. The least red tape can be found in northern Italy while Roma Lazio Film Commission is the most experienced in working with international productions.
First person to call
Enrico Ballarin, Mestiere Cinema
Tel: +39 3351 202 119