Originally planned for the upcoming Berlinale, Italy will now be the “Country in Focus” in 2022 at the European Film Market (EFM) of the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival. The EFM programme “Country in Focus” began in 2017 with the goal of comprehensively presenting a country’s cinematic industry and film work and providing it with a special platform. Following Mexico, Canada, Norway and Chile, Italy is the second European country to take center stage in the European Film Market’s “Country in Focus” programme.
The cooperation contracts were already completed at Gropius Bau during the 2020 Berlinale, attended by Monika Grütters, the German Minister of State for Culture and the Media, and her Italian colleague Dario Franceschini. Due to the organisational and infrastructural Covid-19 restrictions applied in recent months, the “Italia in Focus” programme will be postponed for one year. In 2022, the EFM will spotlight and present the various aspects of the lively and multifaceted film world of Italy with “Italia in Focus”.
The thematic focus will provide numerous opportunities to network with Italian producers, distributors, investors and creatives, as well as to get to know Italian productions. “Italia in Focus” is supported by the Italian Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e per il turismo (MiBACT) and the producers’ association ANICA.
“Since 2017, the EFM has been promoting international exchange within the film industry with the ‘Country in Focus’ programmes. We’re pleased to be able to develop a special presentation for Italy as a film-producing country and to deepen our close and beneficial relationship with ‘Italia in Focus’ in 2022,” comments Mariette Rissenbeek, Executive Director of the Berlinale. “I’m happy to know that, after receiving ample international recognition in recent years, Italian cinema will have a special spotlight at the EFM, providing the industry with an opportunity to discover its many facets,” adds Carlo Chatrian, Artistic Director of the Berlinale.
“Italy’s participation at the EFM and other industry initiatives at the Berlinale has grown consistently over the years and the creativity of Italian cinema is incontestable. We’re looking forward to developing a diverse and sustainable programme with our Italian partners. Italian film has a lot to offer,” says Dennis Ruh, the new director of the EFM.
Luigi Mattiolo, Italian Ambassador to Germany, comments: “I am grateful that, in response to the current pandemic and in collaboration with the European Film Market, we have reached an agreement to postpone our presence as ‘Country in Focus’ for one year. Italy is glad to participate in the 2021 market with a robust presence and will be more ready than ever to be a great ‘Country in Focus’ in 2022. Our presence as ‘Country in Focus’ will not only result in increased business ties, but also in a greater knowledge of Italy’s iconic role as an unforgettable film location, as well as its buoyant co-production market. I hope that many producers from Germany and around the world will seize this opportunity to get to know our assets and locations better.”
The Head of International Department at ANICA, Roberto Stabile, adds: “I would like to thank the Berlinale and the European Film Market for the unique opportunity of becoming ‘Country in Focus’. We are happy to postpone ‘Italia in Focus’ to 2022. In this way we will leave this complicated moment behind us and will celebrate the resurgence of our film and audio-visual industries stronger and more determined than before.”