EUFCN Spotlight on: Film Commission Torino Piemonte

The Film Commission Torino Piemonte (FCTP) was established in 2000 to promote the region of Piedmont and its capital city, Turin, as an attractive and advantageous place for filmmaking. It is considered by many a pioneer in the industry, being one of the first film commissions to be founded in Italy and the first to be operational in the country.

Paolo Manera, Director of the Film Commission Torino Piemonte, presents the latest productions in the territory, bringing light to all the opportunities, locations and professional services this region, in the northwestern corner of Italy, has to offer.

Which main productions were shot in Turin and Piedmont last year?

“In addition to a large number of short films, documentaries, commercials and music videos, 2020 saw a variety of feature films and TV series such as Corro da te  by Riccardo Milani, with Pierfrancesco Favino and Miriam Leone (Wildside), Que hicimos mal?  by Liliana Torres (Matriuska Producciones-Avalon-Miss Wasabi Films-D-Raiz Producciones), A Discovery of Witches, the well-known UK TV series with Diana Palmer and Matthew Goode (Bad Wolf Ltd and Sky Atlantic); Sul più bello, debut feature film of Piedmont-born filmmaker Alice Filippi (Eagle Pictures) and, finally, Radhe Shyam, marking the return on the big screen of Bollywood star Prabhas, and featuring Pooja Hegde, one of the most sought-after actresses in the international market. The Indian production (Pramod Uppalapati, UV Creations), line producer Ivano Fucci for ODU Movies srl, found in Turin the elegant and perfect architecture for its much-awaited romantic blockbuster. All of these projects involved numerous locations in the city of Torino and its surrounding area, in particular, the town of Venaria Reale with its “Reggia di Venaria”, one of the main royal palaces of the Baroque era.

Year 2020 saw a further group of films and TV series mainly set in the “Distretto dei Laghi”, the touristic Lake District in Piedmont. In Cannobio, the Swiss feature film Monte Verità, directed by Stefan Jaeger; in Verbania and Stresa, the RAI TV series La Fuggitiva  produced by Compagnia Leone Cinematografica, with Vittoria Puccini as the leading character; in Stresa, the German movie Tochter,  directed by Nana Neul; finally the area of Lake Orta has been the set of Paradiso, a TV series produced by Sky Deutschland, for a good six weeks.

What is set to be shooting in the future?

“As for the upcoming projects for 2021, two feature films are scheduled to be shot in the coming weeks: Tramonto a Nord Ovest  by Luisa Porrino and I nostri fantasmi, directed by Alessandro Capitani, as well as two TV series, Guida astrologica per cuori infranti  produced by IIF Italian International Film, and a new German TV Movie, line producer Viola Film. A number of additional significant projects, scheduled to be produced in our territory in the first part of the year, look promising for the cinema and the audiovisual sectors in Piedmont.”

What’s the biggest production you have ever supported in your territory?  

The King’s Man, directed by UK filmmaker, screenwriter and producer Matthew Vaughn, produced by 20th Century Studios and Marv Studios, with Eagle Pictures acting as service for Italy. The upcoming period action film, with a stellar cast led by Gemma Arterton and Ralph Fiennes, received the support of the Film Commission Torino Piemonte for the two-week shooting period in Piedmont.
Filming began in the UK in January 2019 and continued in Piedmont for a fortnight between April and May 2019, after months of location scouting and pre-production, involving the Castle of Racconigi, The Reggia di Venaria, the Royal Palace of Turin, Lungo Po Diaz in Turin and Via Andrea Mensa, in the town of Venaria, locations which are widely recognisable in the trailer.”

Reggia di Venaria

“Around 100 Piedmontese film professionals were involved in the production team (out of a crew of 400), besides  as many as 1400 featured  roles (40 local actors being cast in small roles). Intense location scouting during the pre-production stage, which covered several weeks, helped optimize logistics and crew work on the sites, as well as build and dress the required sets. Part of the pre-production process was carried out in the Lumiq Studios where the Production Company, also thanks to the collaboration of Rai – Centro di Produzione di Torino, was able to set up its headquarters. Lastly, among the local organisations involved in the project, Top IX stands out for its support on both Internet and broadband.”

What are the advantages of filming in Piedmont?

“The Film Commission Torino Piemonte provides several services – in which our Film Commission boasts unique capabilities unanimously recognised at national level – together with a specific Location scouting activity, through the digital Location Guide and through organised visits. Such services include:

  • Assistance during the whole shooting time and help to find cast & crew, facilities and services (see Production guide);
  • Assistance for Occupancy permits (granted free in Turin and other areas throughout Piedmont – with the exception of commercial/promotional products – or with fees reductions);
  • Facilities in FCTP Headquarters, such as Sala Movie for screening tests, a Casting Room, and parking for film production vehicles.

Particularly relevant feature films, TV films or TV series may further ask for a Piedmont-based Location manager, a week’s accommodation and a car/bus for the director, set designer or general organiser during the first location survey. Details of this service are planned for each individual project. Such projects may also request crew offices and working space inside FCTP Headquarters – according to the available areas.

Our film commission supports national and international film productions through different funding schemes. Film Funds (for feature films, tv series, documentaries, short films) have been confirmed and expanded in 2021 (estimated at almost 2.5 million euros), to both strengthen and give momentum to the sector, with a focus on international co-productions and local independent productions acting in an increasingly international perspective.

Finally, every year we carry out events and special projects, both on-site previews for the general public and specific tailor-made events for professionals, such as the “Torino Film Industry – Production Days”, which took practical form in November 2020.

Do you have any particular anecdote related to your experience as film commissioner?

“In my personal experience I remember, in particular, the days of The King’s Man  shooting as a kind of completion of a journey: not only was the city peacefully ‘invaded’ by fifty trucks and a crew of over 400, but, more importantly, one hundred of those 400 people were local professionals, some very young, grown up in the ‘indie’ productions that I had been following in FCTP since 2007.”

What is the current situation of film production in Piedmont and how has the Film Commission Torino Piemonte been adapting to this challenging time?

“The situation has been positive even in such a very difficult year as 2020. Productions have been following the safety protocols issued by ANICA for the protection of workers in the cinema-audiovisual sector. The Piedmont region is rich in opportunities, locations and, above all, great professionalism that has been built up over the years thanks to the commitment and continuity given over the years. It is the only region in Italy, besides Lazio, where it is possible to find an entire crew without having to bring in outside personnel, which is a very important asset, in addition to such key actors as the Centro di Produzione Rai in Turin, and a constantly growing network of studios and specialised services linked to universities and training centres.

Cinema and the audiovisual sector are acknowledged by public and private local authorities as strategic sectors. FCTP has worked and is working hard to attract productions, but also to support local talents and independent professionals and productions residing in the territory with recognised potential for further professionalisation and internationalisation, and has been active in all areas of audiovisual production, such as documentaries, short films, animation, advertising, video clips, TV broadcasts, institutional videos, digital content, as well as in the world of ‘lighter’ productions.”

Are you interested in filming in Torino and Piemonte?

The European Film Commissions Network is a non-profit association that supports and promotes the European film industry and culture. It currently represents 98 European film commissions and film institutions from 31 different countries.