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India’s participation at Venice Film Festival to create new opportunities, boost collaboration between India-Italy: Ambassador of India to Italy

New Delhi, Sep 5 (UNI) Dr Neena Malhotra, Ambassador of India to Italy, has said that India's participation as a focus country for the first time in Venice Film festival last year was indeed a step ahead in strengthening co-production ties.

This year, the focus on India would create new opportunities for collaboration and will give a boost to co-productions and collaboration between Indian and Italian industries, she said on Saturday.

Addressing the ‘Focus on India’ Session at 78th Film Festival organised by FICCI, jointly with the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and ANICA, Italy, Vincenzo De Luca, Ambassador of Italy to India, said, "Creativity and cultural industry are the engines of our economies that must be promoted as our soft powers. Through the cinema alliance, we can increase and improve the industries in both countries and promote more production."

He also highlighted the unique cultural relation between India and Italy that combines tradition and innovations.

Nicola Borrelli, Director-General Cinema, Ministry of Culture, Government of Italy, said India is famous for its important contributions in terms of creativity to the international audio-visual and cinema supply chains.

"It's a sector which is somehow very different from the standard audio-visual and cinema supply chain, which, therefore, deserves special attention both in terms of industrial strategies and in terms of support towards vocational training and education in the sector. These are the aspects of the sector where the government is doing something, but we need to do much more starting from the support strategies that the government has implemented and, in this framework, the cooperation with an important country like India is certainly important.”

Dhanpreet Kaur, Director (films), Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and MD, NFDC, said the relationship between the Indian and Italian creative industry goes back to the co-production agreement that was signed between the two countries.

"Italy was one of the first countries with which India signed the audio-visual co-production agreement. Now, we are looking forward to taking this co-production agreement ahead in the field of animation, audio-video, and visual effects. Given that a lot of Indian movies have been shot in Italy, we want to extend a red carpet to the Italian producer to come and shoot in India," she added.

Dilip Chenoy, Secretary General, FICCI, said India and Italy have a good opportunity to collaborate as both countries have great stories to tell.

"Through animation, we can create special programs and collaboration," he added. Mr Chenoy said the Venice Film Festival has opened up the digital possibility to participate remotely.

"COVID has provided an opportunity for a hybrid model which we can call a 'phygital' model of organizing events. It provides producers from India to participate in discussions and look at opportunities on how to address the challenges and develop mature strategies,” he noted.

Francesco Rutelli, President, ANICA said, "Our mission is to promote the culture, and therefore, we are very much interested in the animation sectors, which traditionally did not find a proper space. We know that Indian animation cinema has a millennial tradition because it's rooted in a culture that is so interesting for us, and it was able to develop a very strong industry. ANICA is ready to work with countries like India not only from a financial viewpoint but also from creative perspective.''

Adi Shayan, CEO, Zebu Animation Studios, presented the perspectives of who's who of the creative industry from India and Italy to navigate strategies for collaboration in the animation sector.

Luca Milano, Director, Rai Ragazzi/Rai Kids, said, "We have been doing co-productions with European partners like France, UK, Spain, and Germany. But I feel that in recent years, the collaboration between Italian and Indian companies has been particularly positive and has brought out a number of products that have been welcomed by our public and by international markets."

Cristian Jezdic, Vice President Cartoon Italia – Association of Italian Animation Producers and Founder beQ entertainment, shared her experience of working with an Indian studio.

"We are producing together the second season of the original idea of an Italian Studio, which is also co-producer. It is a comedy series targeting children between four and seven years of age,” he said.

Munjal Shroff, Co-founder Graphiti Multimedia Pvt Ltd and and Co-chair, FICCI AVGC Forum said that it is time to create the product rooted to our culture with global market appeal for both India and Italy.

Some of the other eminent panellists during the session included Valeria Brambilla, Producer, Studio Campedelli, P Jayakumar, CEO Toonz Media Group, and Francesco Manfio, Co-Founder and CEO Gruppo Alcuni.
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