National Funding (FUS)
The most important player on this stage is the Fondo Unico dello Spettacolo (FUS), a fund which the Italian government allocates for the support of the performing arts. The FUS is administered by the Italian State Ministry of Cultural Affairs & Activities (MiBAC) and provides 76 million Euros in funds for the support of film as a cultural form.
Within the framework of the FUS, there are two different ways to access financial support:
The first possibility is the so-called “reference funding”, which provides support based on the economic success of a previous project.
The second, and most common, form of support is “project funding” in the following categories:
- feature film (lungometraggi giudicati d’interesse culturale – IC)
- director’s debut or second feature film (opera prime e seconde – OPS)
- short films (cortometraggi d’interesse culturale – CO)
- screenplay support (sceneggiature originali di particolare valore).
The processing and evaluation of the applications falls under the responsibility of MiBAC. In 2008, 97 projects were supported with a total of 43 million Euros.
Recipients of interest-free loans in the area of production are required to endow pro-rata exploitation rights of the supported project to the Ministry. Of course the producer receives full rights returned as soon as the amount of the support issued is repaid, based on its economic success, to the Ministry. The amount of support is individually based on the recognized production costs of the project, including a maximum of 7.5% general expenses, 7.5% producer’s fee, and financing costs.
In order to receive support, the production company must fulfill a set of formal requirements: the company must be represented by in Italy by – at least – a branch office and must be registered in a MiBAC directory. The project must be recognized as anItalian production, which presupposes that majority of the film’s makers and technicians must be Italian nationals or citizens of other EU countries.
In addition to this and other criteria, the MiBAC committee also evaluates the projects based on artistic, cultural, economic and exploitation relevant aspects. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.