Francesco Rutelli Proposes Agency for Italian Cinema to Save Istituto Luce

Istituto Luce, the 87-year-old curator of Italy’s film archives could close by the end of the year due to state budget cutbacks.

 

ROME -- Francesco Rutelli, one of the leaders of the political opposition to Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi and former mayor of Rome, on Wednesday called for the founding of an Agency for Italian Cinema that could help save Istituto Luce from its economic woes.

A day earlier, Italian newspapers reported that the Rome-based Istituto Luce, the 87-year-old curator of Italy’s historical film archives could close by the end of the year due to state budget cutbacks.

Rutelli called for the creation of an Agency for Italian Cinema based on the French model from the National Center of Cinematography and the Moving Image.

Rutelli did not say why the Ministry of Culture, which reportedly reduced funding for Istituto Luce by half this year, would be able to find funds to pay for the creation of such an agency.

The creation of an Agency for Italian Cinema is not new: the previous government -- headed by Romano Prodi and which included Rutelli as Minister of Culture -- was mulling such a move when it collapsed in 2008.

In a statement Wednesday, Rutelli said the time was right for the creation of such an agency now since it would help “prevent the closure of Istituto Luce as a direct result of the economic problems there.”

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