Italian government to consolidate film bodies

Sandro Bondi says new entity based on French model

ROME -- Italy appears on its way to having a lot fewer government-sponsored film industry bodies.

Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi said Thursday that the government plans to combine them all into one wide-ranging body based on the French model.

Bondi said that the various bodies -- including the Cinecitta Studios, film promotion body FilmItalia and film archive entity Instituto Luce -- will be combined into a single unit that will perform all the functions the separate bodies performed but under a single administrative structure. He said that the move would save money, avoid overlapping work and increase efficiency.

Predictably, the various entities are against the move. Within hours of Bondi's announcement, Cinecitta and FilmItalia issued statements criticizing the plan, arguing it could reduce their effectiveness. The local media also has quoted several key film sector personalities as coming out against the strategy.

But actors, directors and the institutions themselves have little say in their fate and, with a comfortable majority in both houses of parliament, it is likely the government will be able to push the plan through the reform if it is presented.