Italy’s Istituto Luce Under Threat From Government Cuts

The partially state-funded curator of historical film archives risks closing its doors for good by the end of this year if new sources of funding are not found.

 

ROME -- The head of Italy’s Istituto Luce said the partially state-funded curator of historical film archives risks closing its doors for good by the end of this year if new sources of funding are not found.

Luciano Sovena, the managing director of Istituto Luce was quoted in Tuesday’s newspapers as saying that government cutbacks and reduced revenue from film projects had left the storied organization on shaky financial ground.

In the latest round of government belt tightening, state-funding for the Istituto Luce had been cut in half to €7.4 million ($10.3 million), leaving the organization short of even paying salaries for the rest of the year. Sovena said he has issued an appeal to the government to reinstate at least some of the organization’s funding.

Film industry figures in Italy have spoken out in favor of Istituto Luce, with producer Fulvio Lucisano saying that if the organization were allowed to close it would represent the “failure of Italian cinema.”

Steve Della Casa, artistic director of the Roma Fiction Fest and the president of the Turin-Piedmont Film Commission called for the government to step in to save the storied institute.

The Istituto Luce, which was founded in 1924, archives the bulk of Italy’s historical film footage and it also produces and distributes films. It is housed on the lots of Rome’s famed Cinecitta Studios. 

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