Italy’s Legendary Movie Lot Is Primed for New Productions

Apr 30, 2019 388

One of the largest film lots in Europe is back in the hands of the Italian government, with $74 million to spend on a revitalization effort. With the help of a 30 percent tax break on foreign film shoots, the plan is to bring big-name business back to the historic grounds. Netflix Inc. and RAI, Italy’s national public broadcasting company, already have productions in progress, according to Variety.

Cinecittà’s history itself could be the basis for an epic production. It was founded in 1937 by Benito Mussolini as part of a push to promote his fascist agenda through film, and its archives contain thousands of prewar newsreels. After the Allied bombing of Rome during World War II, the rebuilt studios served as shooting and postproduction locations for some of the most iconic films of the 1950s and ’60s: Roman Holiday, Ben-Hur, Cleopatra, Franco Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet, and others. Federico Fellini shot several of his most well-known films on Cinecittà’s grounds, in its famous Studio 5, including La Dolce Vita and 8½.

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