150% of regional contributions for film productions must be reinvested in Sicily

According to the latest report by Symbola Foundation and Unioncamere, published in 2023, the cultural and creative supply chain in Italy has generated an added value of 95.5 billion euros (+6.8% compared to the previous year). Overall, for every euro of added value produced by cultural and creative activities, another 1.8 are activated in different economic sectors, such as tourism, transport and Made in Italy, for a value of 176.4 billion euros. Sicily is among the regions that have benefited most from this growth, thanks also to the interest generated by successful films and TV series which have produced a boom in searches and bookings by national and, above all, international tourists.

“In recent years, our land has been the setting for several TV series and film productions”, explains Dhebora Mirabelli, president of Confapi Sicilia. “In the past, the TV series on Inspector Montalbano had already achieved a huge return in terms of bookings, but it is thanks to the American television series The White Lotus that the island has established itself as a tourist destination for foreigners, making the “White Lotus Effect” explode, as it was defined by the American media to comment on the boom in bookings in Taormina following the broadcast. According to what emerged at the Audio Visual Producer Summit which took place last July in Trieste, 1500 jobs were generated thanks to The White Lotus. In the last year, flights from the USA to Sicily have increased by 205%, those from Germany by 265%. But it is not the only case, other important film and television productions have featured our places, such as The Bad Guy, where spectators can admire Arab-Norman Palermo and the cathedrals of Cefalù and Monreale. Another world stage for Palermo, Favignana, Marsala and Cefalù is the recent Italian series The Lions of Sicily. Among the latest rediscoveries at an international level is the Castle Manfredonico of Mussomeli, the setting for the advertising spot of a well-known chain of shops and among the locations chosen for the filming of the American film In the Hand of Dante directed by Julian Schnabel and produced by Martin Scorsese and with a stellar cast composed of Gal Gadot, Jason Momoa, Johnny Depp and Gerard Butler. The TV series based on Gattopardo will also be released soon on Netflix”.

“The Sicilian Region, in the second half of 2023, co-financed the production of 19 new cinematographic and audiovisual projects, through the Department of Tourism, Sport and Entertainment and the Sicily Film Commission. The intervention completes the dedicated investment plan of over 6.6 million euros entirely financed with resources from the regional budget. A measure that we are also in favor of because the next productions in Sicily will be required to involve local technical and artistic workers and to reinvest at least 150% of the contribution received in the island”.

“For Confapi Sicilia –  concludes Dhebora Mirabelli – the cultural and  creative industry is one of the engines of our economy and the link, which we strongly want to strengthen, between culture and manufacturing, beauty and innovation, competence and internationality, represents awareness of a legacy of our past but also awareness of the future development of our region, custodian of an artistic heritage of inestimable value. Andrea Camilleri often repeated  that “with culture you eat”, wanting to remember that investments in the sector, whether public or private, are never investments without a return”.

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