Albania, Greece, Croatia and Italy united, for the first time together, for the promotion and circulation of audio-visual productions in the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region. A memorandum of understanding for the creation of the Adriatic Audiovisual Network was recently signed within the framework of the OFFF – Otranto Film Fund Festival. The memorandum is promoted by the Puglia Region and Apulia Film Commission, as part of the cross-border cooperation project, AdriaWealth, funded by the IPA Adriatic Programme -2013.

The following representatives of eight government agencies or bodies governed by public law, each engaged in the production and support of the film industry and audio-visual productions, signed the memorandum: Puglia Region (Italy), Apulia Film Commission (Italy), Croatian Audiovisual Centre (Croatia), Albanian National Centre of Cinematography (Albania), Greek Film Centre (Greece), Mediterranean Film Institute (Greece), Audiovisual Fund of Friuli Venezia Giulia (Italy), and the Emilia Romagna Film Commission (Italy).

“This is the third step of a series of agreements we are finalizing within the sphere of the project AdriaWealth” – says Aldo Patruno, director of the Department of Tourism, Economy of Culture, Enhancement of the Territory of the Puglia Region. “We started with 11 Adriatic theatres, then added eight Adriatic museums, and finally we involved the Film Commissions. We have no intention to enter into agreements that are merely theoretical, but we want to be concrete: a series of projects are already under development; these will be implemented after their proper underwriting as well as applied for the forthcoming European notices.”

“The major audio-visual institutions of the Adriatic regions will meet to plan the future together, this is itself an historical event”, said Maurizio Sciarra, president of Apulia Film Commission. “The projects aim at the development of modern audiovisual forms which, at the same time, can create a bridge between Italy and the Adriatic regions. The Adriatic must become the true territory which joins lands, people and cultures, through the discovery of common roots. Puglia, as it has always done, is leading the way to build these bridges and export best practices. ”

The Otranto Film Fund Festival was the perfect occasion for an in-depth examination of the market prospects with regard to European audiovisual productions as well as the role that the Film Fund and Film Commissions might have in financing and promoting all the works on an international level.

In particular, it has brought together the audio-visual and cinema centres of all the countries bordering the Adriatic and Apulia Film Commission, which is considered as a leading example to follow. The aim is to support, in terms of European integration, the consolidation of the production system and the common distribution between the film industries of the Adriatic-Ionian Macro-region, in order to increase the competitiveness of territories, to promote planning, and to attract new investments in a strategic sector for further development.

The following guidelines have been identified: support for the production of short films by young filmmakers; training on new technologies directed at filmmakers, producers, and exhibitors; organisation of itinerant workshops for young screen writers, in order to promote screenplays closely related to the regions involved; fFostering the distribution of works by way of the creation of a cross-border circuit of theatres  for the promotion of auteur films; technological modernization of theatres where necessary; organisation of co-production forums; support for network of festivals; transfer of good practices for the promotion of the region through cinema; creation of common digital archives.