Made in Italy


Francesca Comencini's "The White Space" tells the story of a woman whose life is thrown into turmoil when she becomes pregnant after a one-night stand. But the relationship between Italian cinema and the FUS, which paid half the budget of the Comencini project, is anything but a one-time only affair.

The Fondo Unico per lo Spettacolo (the Unified Entertainment Fund), best known as the FUS, is a mammoth €250 million ($355 million) fund that backs everything from concerts to dance performances. About a fifth of it is used to develop film projects. The fund is widely used, backing more than 500 feature film projects so far this decade.

In the case of "White Space," the FUS provided exactly half of the film's relatively modest €3.5 million ($5 million) budget. The money seems well spent: The film held its world premiere in competition at this year's Venice International Film Festival, and reviews have been positive.