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Italy and Cuba work to enhance film industry ties

Italy and Cuba are looking to build on the ties between their respective film industries with a co-development fund.

There are also plans in place to introduce an Italian prize at Cuba’s upcoming Havana Film Festival, and for the Italian government to help digitise the festival’s main venue, according to a Variety report.

New film It’s No Country for Young People, being made by Italian director Giovanni Veronisi, is likely to be the first co-production between Italy and Cuba.

Cuba is becoming a more viable international filming location, especially for US producers looking for opportunities as relations thaw between Cuba and the American government.

Italy has also been boosted by its expanded filming incentive programme, attracting international shoots like the new James Bond film Spectre and a remake of the historical epic Ben-Hur.

In the last few days, the Rome Lazio Film Commission has launched its own regional film fund, worth €10m and set to be divided between features and TV shoots.

Films will need to have production budgets of at least €1.5m to qualify for the local fund. Television projects will need to be at least 90 minutes and cost €2,000 per minute of screen-time. The regional money is available in addition to Italy’s national incentive programme.

For more on filming in Italy, check our production guide.