Italy introduces new law to preserve theatrical window
James R | On 23, Nov 2018
Italy has introduced a new law to preserve a theatrical window for all cinema releases.
The question of how long films have in cinemas before being released on-demand has sparked heated debates worldwide, with Hollywood still trying to work out a compromise to release things sooner than the tradition 16 weeks and minimise the piracy gap, and France at the other end of the spectrum standing by its three-year window that saw Netflix and Cannes fall out in May. Italy has been no stranger to the debate either, after Netflix debuted Sulla Mia Pelle (pictured above) at the Venice Film Festival. Telling the shocking true story behind the controversial case of Stefano Cucchi, who died shortly after being arrested, the day-and-date release of the film sparked complaints from the industry.
Lucky Red chief Andrea Occhipinti, who heads Italy’s distributors’ association, told La Repubblica at the time that the industry must “face the windows issue”. He went on to resign from the post.
Now, Italy is introducing a new law to shore up its theatrical windows, ensuring that films in cinemas will have 105 days before being released on other platforms.
Exceptions will reportedly be made for limited releases or under-performing Italian movies. Italian Culture Minister Alberto Bonisoli said in a statement: “I am going to sign the decree that regulates the windows on the basis that films will have to be first distributed in theaters and after this on all platforms. I think it’s important to ensure that those who run a cinema are reassured in being able to program films without these being available simultaneously on other platforms.”