This article originally appeared in
September 5, 2006
Italian gov't to make top 100
films part of public domain
By ERIC J. LYMAN
VENICE, Italy -- The Italian government on Sunday announced an initiative to
make 100 of the greatest Italian films ever made part of the public domain,
allowing them to be used for educational or cultural purposes cost free.
The announcement, made
from the headquarters of the
Venice Days sidebar on the
Lido, did not include the
names of the films to be
chosen for the pool, but it did
say they would come from
the so-called "Golden Era"
of Italian films -- 1945 to
1975. That period included
the work of iconic directors
such as Roberto Rossellini,
Luchino Visconti, Mario
Soldati, Vittorio De Sica,
Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Federico Fellini.
This year is the centennial of the birth of Rossellini, Visconti, and Soldati. All
three directors are being honored both at the Venice festival and in October's
According to the "manifesto" declaring the plan, the films that will be
"protected" by the initiative are part of Italy's cultural patrimony.
These films "should be looked after and made famous, just like our
squares, palaces, and monuments of public interest," the document said.
"We must, therefore, not only save but defend, by all means, these unique
cornerstones of our collective identity."
The document, which has been endorsed by Italy's Ministry of Culture, and
has been signed by hundreds of festival attendees, calls for the
establishment of a list of 100 films in order to protect them and to make
them available for cultural and educational purposes.
The films will be decided on by a yet-to-be named committee of experts, with
the final list unveiled by no later than the 64th Venice Film Festival in
Roberto Rossellini on the set with his son Renzo