Industries & Festivals, Talks & Interviews — October 28, 2013 at 5:37 pm

Expert: Like musical crowd-funding, cinema sector can be success in Italy

daniela-castrataroCrowd-funding is rapidly developing all around the world, as people have realized – if done right, this type of raising money for various causes can help to gather necessary sum, to get a particular project off the ground.

Speaking of films – crowd-funding today is one of the first options considered, when there’s not enough money to invest in a movie.

BZFilm talked to chairwoman of the Italian Crowd-funding Network, Daniela Castrataro, who spoke about the topic.

Speaking about crowd-funding of movies in Italy, Castrataro admitted that this particular niche is not yet developed.

“We have an example of a niche platform focused only on music-related projects, and its numbers are very different from the rest of crowd-funding in Italy: success rate, presented projects, amounts of raised money are well higher than average. This could happen also for cinema sector,because it’s easier to get passionate people engaged in a project and get their commitment to it.” she told BZFilm in an exclusive interview.

According to Castrataro – the cultural sector in Italy is particularly affected by lack of funds therefore crowd-funding could represent a valid alternative.

“It is not directly dependable on how crowd-funding will develop in our country, since it will rely on a very specific public, passionate about cinema,” she said, commenting on how much of a future does “film crowd-funding” have in Italy.

Castrataro is also the co-founder of Scottish-Italian research-led business advisory firm. When asked, she said that as of yet, the firm has not been involved or worked with any projects related to film and cinema.

“As for popular projects in Italy, they vary a lot, in any case they are generally linked to a social objective,” she said.

Speaking about specific online crowd-funding platforms in Italy that are film-oriented, Castrataro said that at the moment, there’s only one, “Cineama”.

Castrataro noted that there is not much of film-oriented crowd-funding going on with regard to Italian online crowd-funding platforms, yet she said there were some good examples of films, and especially short movies and documentaries presented on such platforms.

italia-crowdfundingCROWD-FUNDING. LEGAL OR NOT?

In some countries, crowd-funding is still illegal in others it is regulated, while in some, like in the United States, this type of raising money is developing at a high pace.

“We’re talking about equity-based crowd-funding here. Like in other countries, also in Italy financial markets are heavily regulated and this made it impossible for online portals to make offers in our here,” Castrataro said.

She went on to add that in other countries equity crowd-funding is “regulated” through exemptions from traditional legislation, and there are no established and consolidated regulations dealing specifically with crowd-funding.

“Italian Financial Authority has formally announced the legislation on equity based crowd-funding and the Regulation has been published on the Gazzetta Ufficiale last July,” she said. “Equity-based crowd-funding will be legal in Italy, which will become the first country in Europe to implement equity crowd-funding laws.”

However, according to her, only a specific type of companies (the so called “Innovative Startups”) can raise capitals through online portals.

“Furthermore, other models of crowd-funding (reward, lending, donation) are perfectly legal in Italy,” she added.

In 2012, Castrataro and her associates released a report – “Analysis of Italian crowd-funding platforms”, according to which, Italian crowd-funding platforms are concentrated in Northern Italy, and there are none in South.

Now, Castrataro says the situation has improved, slightly.

“There are some more platforms in the South and in the islands however the number is still low. I think this is normal since the South of Italy has always been less developed and productive than the North,” she said. “Setting up a platform requires an initial investment that maybe in the South few people can find.”

Speaking about comparing crowd-funding in Italy to that in the US or UK, Castrataro says the numbers are still low, both in terms of total raised and in terms of presented (and published) projects.

“However, the recent regulation brought crowd-funding to the mainstream and this is being important in order to spread the knowledge of this tool across Italy,” she added. “Therefore, we predict that it will continue to grow but it will need a strong contribution and help from association and experts in the sector.”

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