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Italian cabinet sets quota for showing homegrown talent on Italian TV

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Italian cabinet sets quota for showing homegrown talent on Italian TV
A Visitor stares at a scene picture of italian actor Marcello Mastroianni playing in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita". Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
11:40 CEST+02:00
Italian films on Italian TV: that's the idea behind a new law approved by Italy's cabinet on Monday, which sets a quota for TV channels and envisages harsh penalties for those not showing enough homegrown talent.

Every Italian TV channel will have to show at least one Italian-made film or programme in a prime time slot each week, between 6pm and 11pm, as part of the measures intended to give a boost to the Italian film industry.

The quota increases to twice a week for the state broadcaster Rai, including at least one film. Viewers shouldn't expect to see the results of the change immediately, however, as broadcasters have been given until 2018 to adapt to the new decree. 

And as well as showcasing 'made in Italy' films and programmes in prime time, films made in Europe will also make up half of the total films and TV programmes shown on Italian channels.

After receiving the OK from the Council of Ministers, the decree must now be approved by further parliamentary committees and at the Joint Conference of the state and regions.

The law also envisages the creation of a €400 million annual fund to support Italy's film industry.

Broadcasters will be required to invest in Italian and European productions, while state funding for Italian cinemas will be increased over the coming three years as well.

Italy's Culture Minister Dario Franceschini said the new measures would "help, protect, and enhance Italian cinema, fiction and creativity".

Representatives from all Italy's main parties worked on the decree together with Agcom, the regulator for the Italian communication industries. Some of the changes made in finalizing the decree included extending the definition of Italian films and programmes to include those performed in languages other than Italian, as long as they are made by Italians.

The decree also aims to support European-made films and TV programmes, introducing more and more European programmes to the small screen in a step-by-step process. By 2019, 55 percent of TV dramas will be European, rising to 60 percent the following year.

Of those, broadcasters will have to ensure that a third of the programmes are 'made in Italy', except for Rai, where the quota is 50 percent.

And hefty sanctions await any broadcasters who fail to comply with the new measure: up to €5 million or up to three percent of total turnover - whichever is the larger figure.

READ ALSO: Italian Oscar-winner to make 'Berlusconi: The Movie'

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