Google and Cinecittà’s Luce Institute (Cinecittà which is pronounced “chee-nay chee-tah,” translates to “cinema city”), which offers a permanent window into that country’s rich film heritage, this week announced a new partnership aiming at preserving Italian cinema. “This announcement represents an important step in our efforts to safeguard Italy’s rich culture and allow global public access to it,” said Federica Tremolada, YouTube partnerships manager for Italy, in a statement. “The deal demonstrates how Italy is moving to embrace the web.”
What does this translate into for the average film lover? Over 30,000 clips from films stored in various Italian archives will be available for streaming on the CinecittaLuce Youtube channel. YouTube viewers will be able to search through themed playlists of copyright-protected film material.
This historical partnership will also allow audiences to have access to famous scenes from films from Italy, with their unforgettable screen sirens like Sophia Loren who played the sexy “Pizzaiola” in “L’Oro di Napoli,” directed by Vittorio Sica (pictured; 1954), or the singer Gina Lollobrigida, who in the fifties was called the world’s most beautiful woman. And yet, if these films are in public domain, why not make the entire film available online for viewing?
Timing for this new relationship is tenuous, given the current poor economic times, for governments as well for the arts. Digital industries in Italy represent 2% of the GNP as opposed to England’s 7%, according to a study by the Digital Advisory Group (DAG).
In 2010, Google had entered into an agreement with Italy to digitize a million books which had entered public domain and were stored in libraries in Rome and Florence.
Visit CinecittaLuce’s Youtube Channel here