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DISTRIBUTION / RELEASES / EXHIBITORS Italy

Italian cinema returns to life in the open air via Moviement Village

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- Devised by ANEC and ANICA, the project aims to revive 200 outdoor venues from July, screening films from 2019-2020 as well as previously unseen works, in full compliance with health regulations

Italian cinema returns to life in the open air via Moviement Village

There might not be a set date, as yet, for the post-pandemic re-opening of movie theatres in Italy, but the public will be in a position to enjoy films on the big screen from 1 July, albeit in the open air and in full compliance with health rules. The project is called Moviement Village and was devised by ANEC, in league with ANICA and The David di Donatello Italian Film Academy, with the support of Mibact’s Film and Audiovisual Department. It involves the revival of no less than 200 open-air venues scattered across the national territory; in other words, “all existing, active arenas, of which there are roughly 100; those which didn’t previously screen films, roughly 80, plus multi-functional venues such as pop-up “cinema villages””, specified ANICA’s head of distributers Luigi Lonigro, speaking to news agency Ansa, before adding: “we’re now waiting to hear back from the health authorities in terms of protocols and timings, but we’ll be ready to go with this project from 1 July”.

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Set to be screened as part of this initiative are a selection of films from the 2019/2020 season, as well as films previously unseen on the big screen, and alternative content. Furthermore, in association with the Italian Film Academy, these Moviement Villages will screen Italian films nominated and/or victorious at the 2020 David di Donatello Awards (the winners of which will be revealed on 8 May), in the presence of their associated authors and talents. All these events will unfold in full compliance with emergency health regulations set to be issued by the relevant authorities (presumably towards the end of May), thereby guaranteeing the total safety of viewers at every stage of the event: from ticket purchasing and regulating the flow of people entering and leaving the venue to the ongoing inspection of these spaces.

Trade associations hope to reopen traditional cinema venues at some point in the summer, as is the plan in other European countries. But, in the meantime, open-air venues will help to keep the public’s relationship with the big screen alive, offering significant benefits in terms of employment, too. Faced with the closure of over 4,000 screens (equating to a box office loss of 120 million euros) and the suspension of work for over 6,000 direct film sector employees since the beginning of the Covid-19 crisis in Italy, it is estimated that for every 100 venues revived, the Moviement Village initiative will provide employment for around 600 employees/workers directly impacted by the crisis. In all, up to 3,000 jobs could be created thanks to the knock-on effects of this initiative.

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(Translated from Italian)

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