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fondazione ente dello spettacolo
tertio millennio film fest
» Report 2008
Chapter 1 - An atypical product
Many Diverse Options
The difficulties in assigning a specific identity code are objective and not easily overcome. In virtue of various common connotations, in the end, the cinema industry is considered as somewhere between an artistic activity or, alternatively, a cultural activity; as a part of the performing arts sector or as part of the entertainment sector in general, otherwise it is considered as a way of spending free time or even as a component of the communications market rather than that of e-contents, the so-called electronic editorial contents all converging in the ocean of ICT – Information Communication Technology. (6)
The definition of the cinema industry’s real context, aside from its essential and prior artistic content which constitutes the historical value of film, is not a formal question but rather a basic problem as far as any organic, technically valid evaluation of its social, political and economic worth is considered. One can, therefore, reasonably understand even how determinate classifications can lead to diverse or even contradictory (at times reductive) conclusions and analyses. Any comparisons at times appear improper or impartial, if, for instance, the cinema is compared to museums and archaeological sites, or with sports, or even if an entire sector is separated – such as home video – rather than another sector on account of the diverse physical supports upon which films are “transported”, or if determinate productive realities dedicated to the cinema are separated only because their activity or their products are not qualified on the basis of the destination market or on the type of consumption of the manufactured goods but on the basis of the characteristic techniques of production.
A clear example, in that sense, is the classification of the diverse methods of advertising linked to the cinema as channels and sales revenues typical of advertising, totally ignoring as such the proceeds from the revenue that combine to determine the volume and total turnover directly generated by the cinema (something which, moreover, does not occur in the financial analysis of television networks in contrast to that of radio or publishing).(7)

6  This is what emerges from the classifications used, in large measure, by public institutions, statistics boards, study centres and also trade unions. The Ministry of Culture, for example, includes the cinema among artistic and cultural activities; ISTAT (Instituto centrale di statistica) among free time activities and entertainment; SIAE (Società italiana autori ed editori) among the forms of performing arts; IOM (Istituto di economia dei media) of the Fondazione Rosselli considers cinema as part of the communications industry and so on.
7 A further example is that of the recording company Cam-Creazioni artistiche musicali exclusively dedicated to the production of theme music (from the late Nino Rota to Ennio Moricone). As much as it is correct to include theme music among the industries of “music recording” it appears somewhat peculiar that in determining the value of film productions it is never considered a full part of the total cinema sector including its directly linked industries.


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