A regular presence at the Venice Film Festival, Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission naturally picked Venice to celebrate its ten years of existence. A programme full of meetings, panels, and presentations alternates with ten appointments/receptions at Isola Edipo, and a much-anticipated birthday party on September 7 at Villa Zavagli. Salvatore Mereu’s film Bentu will premiere on the same day, which shows how dynamic the Sardinian team’s energy is and how, over the last decade, accumulated internationally-renowned experience.
Let’s step back in time a bit, to 2012, when the newly-established Sardegna Film Commission opened business with Satta and Grimaldi at the helm. Sardinia is an island whose history goes back thousands of years, has unique culture and language, otherworldly air and majestic, unforgettable film-ready landscapes. In a short time, Sardinia’s film commission created a local audio/video ecosystem by working with talents, professionals, and local investors. It concentrated international interest in screenwriting, film production, and lately even in the animation industry. Thanks to originality, decisiveness, and green-friendliness, Fondazione Sardegna Film Commission achieved excellent results not only from a financial point of view, but also a creative point of view, especially in creating new forms of cultural governance.
Their approach is notable in their presence in Venice, with the idea of involving Sardinian screenwriters in a choral story, employing different registries, to tell the story of a composite, original universe. Today, we want to hear it all from the voices of FSFC President Gianluca Aste and Director-General Nevina Satta. We’ll discuss the foundation’s best results over the last ten years and try to understand what goals will be pursued in the years to come.
Taking stock of ten years of work
We were in Venice in 2012 when we said: “We shall bring Sardinia to the world and the world to Sardinia”. Our journey is that of a promise kept, not only in the world of cinema, but TV series, too. Animation is our next goal and naturally, videogame and therapeutic products will follow. This shows our commitment, as a governance body, to face the challenges of the growing augmented reality, metaverse, and artificial intelligence industries to develop processes of innovation and research that have positive outcomes of social usefulness. This is not only about aesthetical research, but about the possibilities innovation brings about in the fields of diagnosis and treatments of disease. Initially, the point was to make Sardinia known; now, the point is to turn our region into a permanent workshop where artists, filmmakers, corporations, and institutions know they can find a place that welcomes experimentation, good governance, and effective work methods. Our action is not only oriented at eco-sustainability, but also at improving expertise and competence in our communities. This will be more than ‘films made in Sardinia’ – screens will bear Sardinia’s mark and image in the broadest possible sense, making it possible for this window on the world to be an ideal place to take your challenges, a welcoming place for generativeness.
Positive outcomes of ten years of work
We began with a presence in Venice, knowing that a 230,000-euro budget would not bring about a revolution in our island. The first challenge we won was to build a team that would create projects and collaborate with the different souls that exist in Sardinia. Our Cinema Statute allowed us to invest over 50 million euro in the cinema and audio/video industry over the last ten years, also thanks to the work of the Film Commission. Our Cinema Statute was the first to be enacted in the several regions of Italy, identifying cinema as a motor of regional development, progressively widening the scope of the Film Commission. Figures prove us right. We went from that small initial sum to funds that amount to 5,5 million euro for ordinary and special projects, including a three-million-euro film fund maintained by the local government. The sector is absolutely well-funded and gained awareness of its mission and formative capabilities. Last year, our local government tasked us with the management of anything related to cinema in our region. After 600 hours of work with over 700 stakeholders, we think it’s about time to update the Statute and fine-tune the institutional relationship we enjoy with other regional bodies, so they, too, will be able to work with us on the 2030 Agenda, a field of action where Sardinia is at the forefront. We need to resolve the contradictions of social and occupational nature. All of this affects the filmmaking industry: we passed from 6 productions in 2013 to 130 last year.
How will you celebrate your tenth birthday?
Our celebration is the celebration of talent and art, which means we want to promote the amazing talent portfolio of made-in-Sardinia audio/video in the main film festivals in Europe and around the world. We will start with Venice, then move to the Rome Film Festival, where we will focus more explicitly on animation. Our international projects run fast, and the number of talented professionals involved grows every day. We will be in Busan, South Korea, in the United States, and in London as we wait for the 2023 Berlinale, where we will announce more, exciting new things to come! Long live Sardinia!
Inspired by Antonio Cossu’s short story collection Il vento e altri racconti (‘The Wind and other stories’), “Bentu” (Sardinian for ‘wind’) is the story of intergenerational exchange, of man challenging nature, and – writes Mereu in th...
Inspired by Antonio Cossu’s short story collection Il vento e altri racconti (‘The Wind and other stories’), “Bentu” (Sardinian for ‘wind’) is the story of intergenerational exchange, of ...