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» Report 2008
Chapter 5 - Profession and Job Market
Free or Organized
In an area in which individualism and self-promotion fall within the “natural” prerogatives of workers within the cinema sector, the heterogeneous specificity of the duties and responsibilities (which are still more prolific given the evolution of computer and digital technology and the innovations in productive standards) certainly do not favour the aggregation of univocal interests, expectations, guarantees, objectives and parameters. Furthermore, the flexibility of the job market proportionally marks the rarefaction of organizations of stable, social representation and still more the general scale of the sector.
The cinema sector and those who work therein consists of an uneven, heterogeneous community – in as much as it is formed by individuals classed as substantially free – and primarily based more on interpersonal relations, on familiarity, friendships and acquaintances, and on relations resulting from the presence on set and in studios than on category associations and federal organizations..


LThe particular structure of the sector, distinguished by numerous specializations and by strongly creative contributions, has furnished the development of free professional unions, the so-called trade associations, employed more in the valuation and qualification of the profession and in the formative development of those who turn to it rather than in the development of a legal representation of the category and of the associated staff within a determinate sector of activity. They are rather more like cultural and technical organizations, as is confirmed by the sphere of creative works, as opposed to bodies with social or trade union interests. Some of these organizations, such as ANAC – ‘Associazione nazionale autori cinematografici’ (National Association of Cinematography), have acquired through their initiatives a primary role in the history and evolution of Italian film making. ANAC, led by Ugo Gregoretti and Citto Maselli, has always been involved in the defence of the freedom of expression and in the protection of property rights, according to the aims expressed since the foundation in 1950 due to the work of a group of “cinema writers” which includes Age-Agenore Incrocci, Alessandro Blasetti, Mario Camerini, Ettore G.Margadonna, Furio Scarpelli and Cesare Zavattini.
Such associations are, furthermore, also economic subjects when they endow themselves of informational bodies, fund reviews, promote and manage schools and courses of specialization, become partners in the organization of cinema festivals, institute professional awards, initiate screening cycles or other manifestations which are open to the public.
Their categories are rather varied and are not susceptible to schematic classifications. What seems to characterize them, independently of the eventual forces of adhesion that they collect and of the number of enrolments, is the attention paid to the professional themes, to contents and to the values of the performances, and definitely to the adequate recognition of the contributions with which the diverse categories offer to the success of the single film and, more generally, to the affirmation of the Italian cinema. If certain affinities are revealed, it is certainly in virtue of such a mission, a mission which understandably brings with it the associations of the four principle areas (creative, artistic, on stage and technical) to an implicit synthesis regarding the defence and valuation of professional roles as opposed to a development of the market which tends, with its processes of multimedia integration, to standardize determine phases of production compressing space for expression of acquired discretion.
Almost all founded expressly within the field of cinema production, these trade associations have, over time, updated their business titles, significantly adding to their initials the term ‘audiovisual’ in a more extensive sense and with a major adherence to the operative context.
Within this area classed as ‘creative’ one can also include (as well as ANAC) FAI – ‘Federazione italiana autori’ (Federation of Italian Writers), SNS – ‘Sindacato nazionale scrittori’ (National Writers’ Union) – to which belong part of the authors and screenwriters, UNUPADEC – ‘Unione Nazionale Unitaria Professionale Autori Drammatici e Cinematografici’ (National Unitary Union of Professional Authors, Dramatists and Cinematographers) and AIDAC – ‘Associazione italiana dialoghisti adattatori cinetelevisivi’ (Italian Association of Dialogue Writers and Film Adaptation Writers). The area classed as ‘artistic’ includes AIC – ‘Associazione italiana autori della fotografia cinematograficia’ (Italian Association of Cinematographers) with 93 members, AMC – ‘Associazione del montaggio cinematografico e audiovisivo’ (Association of Cinema and Audiovisual Editing) with 323 members, ASC – ‘Associazione italiana scenografi costumisti e arredatori’ (Italian Association of Screenwriters, Costume Designers and Stage Designers) with 188 members. Stage associations include ANAD – ‘Associazione nazionale attori doppiatori’ (National Association of Actors and Dubbing Technicians) and ADAP – ‘Associazione doppiatori attori pubblicitari’ (Association of Dubbing Technicians, Actors and Copywriters’. Technical associations include AIARSE – ‘Associazione italiana aiuto registi segretarie edizione’ (Italian Association of Directors’ Assistants, Editing Secretaries), APAI – ‘Associazione del personale di produzione audiovisivo italiano’ (Italian Association of Audiovisual and Production Personnel), AITS – ‘Associazione italiana tecnici suono’ (Italian Association of Sound Technicians) with 77 members, of which 37 are direct filming technicians, 29 are sound technicians, 9 sound assemblers and 2 sound special effects technicians, AIAT-SFX – ‘Associazione italiana autori e tecnici effetti speciali di scena (Italian Association of Writers and On Scene Special Effects Technicians), AITR – ‘Associazione italiana tecnici ripresa’ (Italian Association of Filming Technicians) consisting of 116 members divided into 22 film operators, 48 assistants, 32 assistant directors, 11 camera operators, 3 video assistants), ANACINETV – ‘Associazione nazionale attrezzisti cinetv’ (National Association of Cinema and Television Property Persons), ANTEPAC – ‘Associazione nazionale truccatori e parrucchieri cinematografici’ (National Association of Make Up Artists and Cinema Hairdressers), EMIC – ‘Elettricisti macchinisti italiani cineaudiovisivo’ (Italian Cinema Audiovisual Electricians and Engineers), ANAGRUC –‘Associazione nazionale autistic gruppisti cinematografici’ (National Association of Cinema Group Drivers). These last eight associations, together with AIC, AMC and ASC are affiliated also resulting in a further, more general representative organization: FEDIC – ‘Federazione italiana delle associazioni cineaudiovisive’ (Italian Federation of Cinema Audiovisual Associations).


Fully titled economic subjects are, however, considered as trade unions, signatories of the entrepreneurial organizations of the agreements which regulate, on the national level, the activities of all of the employees of the cinema sector. Their number of members is substantially limited in spite of the objective professional complexity of the sector which emerges, moreover, with concrete evidence of the contract contents which are among the most meticulous and detailed within the whole panorama of national employment. Given the particular productive structure and, primarily, the many and detailed technical specializations involved, as well as fixing in detail the profiles and titles of all figures involved in production (especially for the workers and set crews and often by extremely subtle distinctions). Trade unions also define a protocol for a large number of operations – and their individual phases – which form a part of the process of production.
Objective: Individuate and standardise work parameters for estimating the relative work times and thereby quantify the reference compensation and the basic minimum of remuneration owed. The fundamental problem, however, is that the predominance of short term contracts, contracts at most for single projects and for brief or very brief periods within the different types of performances or services almost always impose parameters of a single day or single hours onto the artistic and technical contribution, resulting, as a consequence, in the need to evaluate and monetize the ‘brisure’ of employment using the smallest unit of measurement, such as the metres of film, rollers and lines or even the length of sounds (emitted, for example, in dubbing studios) for the recited texts.
In general, the rate of unionization for cinema production is not considered particularly high and as regards Italian informational bodies more interest is provoked by contract disputes publicized in Hollywood than those in Italy which are, moreover, rare. Nevertheless, the Italian actors trade union SAI (Sindacato attori italiani) is one of the richest unions in history being the result of assistance loans founded following the recognition, in 1865, of a legal position for actors – which rendered employment relations and the protection of primary rights possible – and of the first, true forms of representation such as LAD – ‘Lega degli artisti drammatici’ (League of Drama Artists) who were signatories of the first unique work contract, as well as the ‘Lega di miglioramento attori drammatici’ (League for the Improvement of Theatre Actors) which promoted the first strike (in 1919 against the artistic and legal directors of theatre companies). It is thirty years since its refoundation with the title ‘Sindacato nazionale attori di prosa’ (National Union of Prose Actors) which became, in 1960, SAI – ‘Societa attori italiani’ (Italian Actors’ Society) and today is, and has been since 1976, from the moment it became affiliated to the union CGIL – ‘Confederazione generale italiana del lavoro’ (Italian General Workers’ Confederation) in the area of SLC – ‘Sindacato lavoratori della comunicazione’ ( Communication Workers’ Union).
Amongst its most active exponents it has had such artists as Achille Majeroni, Cesare Dondini and Ruggero Ruggirer, followed by Vittorio De Sica, Anna Magnani, Gino Cervi, Giancarlo Sbragia, Enrico Maria Salerno, Saturnino Manfredi, Arnoldo Foă and Marcello Mastroianni and among its most important ‘conquests’ one can include the protection of the so-called connected rights and the consequent recognition of the compensations tied to audiovisual reproductions with the birth, in 1977, of IMAIE – ‘Istituto Mutualistico artisti interpreti esecutori’ (Assistance Institute of Artists and Performers) now in the middle of a turbulent process of reform, and the collective national contract for dubbing technicians.
Led for a number of years by Pino Caruso and today presided over by Massimo Ghini, with Maurizio Feriaud as general secretary, it is affiliated to FIA – ‘Federazione internazionale degli artisti’ (International Federation of Artists) an international organization which contains over 100 unions and associations from across the world, and, in the area of CGIL is preparing the formation of a Federation of Artists together with SIAM – ‘Sindacato italiano artisti della musica’ (Italian Union of Musicians) and SILF – ‘Sindacato italiano lavoratori del fumetto, del disegno animato e della comunicazione visiva’ (Italian Union of Workers in Comics, Animated Design and Visual Communication).
Also the other two large national unions CISL – ‘Confederazione italiana sindacata lavoratori’ (Italian Confederation of Workers’ Trade Unions) and UIL – ‘Unione italiana del lavoro’ (Italian Workers’ Union) include representation of cinema sector staff, who are also amalgamated to organizations of the communications sector such as FISTEL – ‘ Federazione informazione spettacolo telecomunicazioni’ (Federation of Computer and Performing Arts Telecommunications) and UILSIC – ‘Unione italiana lavoratori spettacolo informazione cultura (Italian Union of Performing Arts Workers and Cultural Information) (It has been revealed that membership numbers are only known for FISTEL: 55,523 out of 704,962 total that CISL counts in industry and out of a total of 4,507,486). Furthermore, it can be pointed out that the two autonomous organizations LIBERSAND CONFSAL and CONFILS – ‘Confederazione italiana lavoratori dello spettacolo e della comunicazione’ (Italian Confederation of Workers in Performing Arts and Communication) are also active. .


In June 2007 the European Parliament of Strassburg approved a resolution in response to the need to “define a new status for artists” of countries which are members of the European Union and to “develop a legal and institutional outline in order to maintain artistic creation by the adoption or the implementation of a series of coherent and comprehensive measures regarding the contractual situation, social security, health insurance, direct and indirect taxation, conformity to European laws”. Such a commitment put to the proceedings and addressed to the executive of the European Commission of Brussels arose from the pressure which the representative associations of the artistic professions exerted for intervening in favour of cultural and artistic activity principally in consideration of processes of integration and multimedia globalization and the development of ICT (Information Communication Technology) which threaten the cultural specificity of the same European community nations, putting the safeguards and protection of royalties and copyrights and the same socio-economic conditions of the artistic and creative category and of intellectual work in general to the test.
The fact that such appeals have been acknowledged and received at the institutional level within Europe confirms the presence of the criticalities which involve the sector and include those who work therein, even if in diverse forms and extents. Italy is among the countries which firstly and with major intensity warned of the problem and in which the concerns – in light of the involution which regards the job market and the relative responses of the employment system, testified to by data and statistics such as certain of those shown in preceding tables – are mostly felt. Also because on the judgement of the operators and their professional organizations the diffuse condition of hardship discounts, contrary to almost all of the other nations of Europe, “treatment which involves social security, assistance and fiscal damages”.
What is primarily complained about is the lack of attention given by political institutions which, by law, regulate both the tributary systems of the welfare state such as the services managed by ENPALS. In terms of fiscal policy the emphasis is placed, for example, on the applications of the regime which regulates the tax impositions of the professionals, however, with serious limitations – preferentially deducted – on the possibility of detracting a large part of the costs maintained for the carrying out of an activity. A series of norms are then judged ‘oppressive’ for the category of artistic and performing arts professionals which form a part of the item ‘welfare’, particularly from the general lack of social security “cushions” (and, in particular, the absence of indemnities for unemployment) to the normative which regulate maintenance interventions and assistance in the case of illness or accidents. In this area there is only CALT – ‘Cassa assistenza lavoratori troupes di scena’ (Assistance Bonds for Workers in Television and Cinema Crews) promoted by CGIL, CISL and UIL, however, autonomous and active only in the limited area of workers.
As to current welfare coverage the principle problem raised concerns the fact that it does not enter into the so-called contributions system (pensions commensurate with the payments made during the period of employment) but into that of remuneration, where the daily income subjected to contributions is conventional – and can arrive at up to 620 euro – whereas that which is effectively considered for calculating the coverage settled by bodies at the moment of retirement does not take into consideration the quantity actually paid in and is guaranteed at a level which is clearly inferior: around 210 euro. The part in excess, which amounts to 380 euro, has, moreover, a further 5% deducted destined for the solidarity funds of the institute, whose accounts, in effect, appear (60 years after the constitution) in excellent condition. With a further 265 thousand contributors of all sectors, the number of pensions paid out in 2007 resulted in 55,109 (becoming 54,634 in 2008, decreasing by 1,180, equal to 2.1% in the last five years) with a total cost of 832.7 million euro – corresponding to a unitary average of 14.08 thousand euro – against an income of 1,035.3 million euro and a positive advance on management of 202.6 million (1,169.8 million for administration; 1,876.8 in property and 751.0 cash in hand).(10)
This involves aspects of a socio-economic character which complete the picture of the job market in the cinema industry and which would deserve, in all likelihood further analysis, above all in terms of insurance policies which are indubitably of definite importance. The availability of ENPALS data is, nevertheless, limited to total cash balances, without reference to statements relative to single sectors of activity. The indications which can be obtained on the activity of 2008, therefore, correspond to the averages – beginning at the age of 72.3 years – of all the beneficiaries and their value is to furnish a functional map to outline the maximum performances which the welfare regime of ENPALS foresees and pays out to contributors and members of the cinema professionals category.(11)
Direct pensions represent 71% of all the welfare coverage of ENPALS and are 38.7 thousand (with a predominantly male presence of 62.0%) with an annual, average amount of 16.85 thousand euro which varies according to its three diverse categories: seniority 23.28 thousand; old age 13.44 thousand; invalidity 9.38 thousand; whereas those with indirect pensions (29%) consist of 15.8 thousand (predominantly female with a percentage of 93.3%) for an average amount of 8.68 thousand euro per year, from which two categories cannot be removed – those insured or those with a pension – from which such categories are formed.
 50% of the coverage is situated, moreover, at less than 10,517 euro a year (809 euro a month, the average being between 1,813 for those in seniority, 673 in old age, 520 in invalidity and 576 indirect). From the subdivisions by deciles it results, moreover, that in the first class – with monthly assignments from 350 to 450 euro – are included the major, comprehensive number of pensioners: 11,640 (21.3% of the total), 5,259 of which holders of integration at the minimum permitted by law (443.12 euro a month) as opposed to 4,857 of the tenth range, the highest which starts from a monthly base of 2,151 euro and which is also the second in terms of consistency. From the second to the ninth (1,951- 2,150 euro) the trend is indeed constantly decreasing. As far as the specific area of direct coverage for seniority is concerned it is the tenth which includes the highest quota of positions (22.0% equal to 3,241 pensioners), whereas for those of old age the principle value (19.2% corresponding to 3,033 individual positions) refers to the first deciles.
All of the social and economic elements, in substance, demonstrate a general alignment with the principle coordinates of the job market and would seem to support, as a profound analysis can, an unsuspected outline of the professional universe of the cinema industry in Italy. Observing the Italian cinema industry from a general overview, the image which is obtained seems similar to that of a fisheye lens as opposed to a wide-angled lens, given that it does not permit the perception of the most specific aspects. When examined up close the same characteristics, however, assume their true colours and surroundings; authentic even if gaudy and marked, for effect, by a convex lens.

10 Source: “Report Direzionale 2007” edited by the Ufficio organizzazione e controllo gestione dell’ENPALS – National Welfare and Assistance Body for Performing Arts and Sports Workers; Rome 2008.
11 Source: “Le prestazione istituzionali dell’Enpals- Anno 2008.Sintesi e comment” edited by the ‘Coordinamento statistic-attuariale dell’ENPALS’; Rome 2009.


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