Dream Makers

A voyage through Italian cinema by way of the stories of the producers who made our national film industry a world leader.

Italian Cinema and Its Great Producers

Producers like Giorgio Agliani, Salvo D’Angelo (Universalia), Goffredo Lombardo (Titanus), Giuseppe Amato e Angelo Rizzoli (Cineriz, Riama), Dino De Laurentiis and Carlo Ponti (Lux, Ponti-De Laurentiis, and then as independents), Franco Cristaldi (Vides and Cristaldifilm), Alfredo Bini (Arco Film), Alberto Grimaldi (PEA), Italo Zingarelli (West Film) and Fulvio Lucisano (Italian International Film) approached their job in very different ways, but in the Fifties and Sixties, together they created one of the most important Italian export industries.

The golden age of Italian Cinema

The golden age of Italian cinema and the films that resulted from the far-sightedness and talent of a generation of producers, recounted through an exhibition of original archival materials: from Federico Fellini’s La dolce vita to Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Il Vangelo secondo Matteo, from the popular success of Lo chiamavano Trinità, to the Oscar for di Giuseppe Tornatore’s Nuovo Cinema Paradiso.

I collaboratori

This exhibition is the result of a collaboration between the Cineteca di Bologna and the British research project Producers and Production Practices in the History of Italian Cinema, 1949-1975 promoted by the Universiy of Warwick and Queens University Belfast, and financed by the Arts and Humanities Research Council.

"This is not a Scalera film were everything flows smoothly. It is a film that has roused the opposition of all conservative and reactionary forces. Precisely for this reason, we absolutely have to win this battle and I assure you that we will win it. (Don't laugh if i make use of ill-fated Mussolinian rhetoric]".
"In publishing two plus two makes four. In cinema, however, it often makes three and very occasionally five. It is precisely this strange but compelling wait to see if two plus two will make five that draws me into the work of film production ".
"The principle that has always guided me in my activity as a producer has been that of making quality films. Sometimes all that is needed are small insights into our time which give rise to a little idea that can be turned into a provocative and highly successful film."
"Cinema is a cultural industry. Making films involves social and moral responsibility. So we must not produce what sells; rather we should sell what we want to produce."
"Universalia "invented" the practice of coproduction with the French film industry amid general scepticism. It was a few years later that the two governments formalised what Universalia had created and systematically put into practice."
"Without movie theatres our products would lose a considerable qualitative and creative incentive. Only in a movie theatre can you monitor the reactions of the public, which are the most accurate indicators in our business, even and above all when they are negative."

Thirty definitions of a producer

Genius, creator, visionary, inspirer, talent scout, star-maker, mentor, patron, tycoon, mogul, businessman, manager, organiser, motivator, mediator, diplomat, accountant, opportunist, meddler, gambler, party animal, seducer, womaniser, megalomaniac, dictator, scapegoat, pimp, pornographer, bankrupt, failure, criminal.

Films on exhibition

Caccia tragica
Carla Del Poggio in the role of Giovanna. Cineteca di Bologna
Prima comunione
Aldo Fabrizi (Carlo Carloni), Lucien Baroux (archpriest) and Alessandro Blasetti with members of the troupe, in the Church of Saints Domenico and Sisto (Monti district, Rome), April-June 1950. Cineteca di Bologna
La dolce vita
Limited edition publicity guide for the film; conceived and painted by Fabrizio Clerici, Cineriz, Rizzoli Editore, Milan, December 1959. Fondo Giuseppe Amato – Maria Vasaturo
Il Vangelo secondo Matteo
Pier Paolo Pasolini on the set of the film, 1964. Cineteca di Bologna
La tenda rossa
Portrait of Claudia Cardinale, 1968 – 1969. Cineteca di Bologna
Lo chiamavano Trinità
The famous ‘punch-ups’ of Bambino (Bud Spencer) and Trinity (Terence Hill). Fondo Italo Zingarelli
Nuovo Cinema Paradiso
Salvatore as a child (Salvatore Cascio) in the auditorium of Nuovo Cinema Paradiso. Screenshot from the restored version of the film, 2015