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Italy's Cinecitta Luce Unveils iPhone/iPad App

Cinecitta Exterior - H 2012

The app, which is part of a wider effort to update and modernize the archive wing of historic Cinecitta, will give users access to content and up-to-date news

ROME – Italy’s storied Cinecitta Luce archive has released its first app to work on the iPhone and iPad platforms, giving users access to view historical content and up-to-date information about new projects and developments.

The app, which is available free of charge, is part of a wider reform of Luce, the archive wing associated with Cinecitta Studios, which trace their roots back to the Instituto Luce archives, founded in 1924, and the studios themselves, which were founded in 1937.

The app will serve as a promotional vehicle for Luce, which recently signed an agreement to make much of its content available on Google’s YouTube site and via Italian state broadcaster RAI. Cinecitta Stuidos is in the process of updating its facilities to include a day spa, a hotel, and more office space in order to improve its level of service to filmmakers as a way to compete with low-cost studios in Eastern Europe.

Cinecitta, Europe’s oldest film studios, has been home to scores of epic dramas ranging from William Wyler’s 1959 classic Ben-Hur to Gangs of New York from Martin Scorsese 43 years later.

But plans to modernize the studios have sparked protests from studio workers, who fear the plans could leave them out in the cold. Around 200 of the studio’s employees have pitched tents and lived at the studios in a form of protest, and talks with management have been stalled for weeks.

Cinecitta was also in the news when Studio 5, where Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was filmed, caught fire on July 19. Firefighters reacted quickly and damage was kept to a minimum. Studio officials said the studio should be up and running again by the end of August.