Inside INCONTRI #13

Reading time

More than 100 industry experts from South Tyrol/Südtirol and Italy as well as the DACH region came together for a meeting of creative minds at INCONTRI #13 in St. Andrä/Sant’Andrea above Brixen/Bressanone, inspired by an informative conference programme. The key inputs and learnings from this year’s film conference hosted by the IDM Film Commission Südtirol




The Market and AI

1 – Prof. Dr. Sylvia Rothe, Chair of AI in Media Production,
HFF University of Television and Film Munich

At the Incontri “AI Lab: Learn the Latest in Generative AI for Film and Television”, Prof. Sylvia Rothe, who holds the first chair for AI in Germany, at the HFF Munich, shared some insights into the basics, complete with use cases from production and creative experiments conducted by her students. However, it is becoming more and more of a challenge to keep abreast of all the new developments in this rapidly evolving market. Professor Rothe assessed the use of tools and platforms for shooting schedules, script synopsis and analysis, or budgeting as well as the use of AI footage for pitches and storyboards. She showed examples of video generation and text-to-text/text-to-video and also presented the non-profit LAION network, which is challenging the monopoly position held by ChatGPT.

The focus: Legal aspects as well as questions of plagiarism and the responsibility for/regarding the rights to AI-generated content are the most pressing topics in the creative industry right now. A European AI Act is expected later this year to govern these aspects.


“The responsibility remains: AI is not a co-author!”

Sylvia Rothe

2 – Werner Ballhaus, Global Entertainment & Media Sector Leader, PwC

Werner Ballhaus, Global Entertainment & Media Sector Leader at the global auditing and consulting company PwC, talked about production in challenging times: he presented new figures from the global motion picture market and a strategic five-year outlook based on the metrics collected in their annual global entertainment survey.

The conclusion: Audiovisual media markets continue to grow, but at a lower rate than in the past few years.  

“The growth of audiovisual media markets continues.”

Werner Ballhaus

European Co-Productions and Financing

3 – Al Munteanu, CEO, SquareOne Entertainment – A Vuelta Group Company, Eric Welbers, CEO, Bravado Media/Bravado Equity

Torsten Zarges, curator of the programme, talked to Eric Welbers, CEO of Bravado Media, and Al Munteanu, founder and CEO of Square One Entertainment, about innovative investment models and new ways of monetisation. Welbers is all in favour of international co-productions, seeing as it is becoming more and more difficult to fund projects single-handedly. His latest project, the feature film “Perfect Match” about tennis power couple Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi realised together with Prime Video, taught him a lesson about the need to be flexible in this business. When the money suddenly ran out, Welbers founded the gap financing company Bravado Equity.

The opportunity: With its model for financing and optimum rights exploitation even independent of a sales machinery, Bravado Equity positions itself as a partner of the producers and encourages them to take risks.

“Producers in Europe must think locally.”

Eric Welbers

Al Munteanu’s German company SquareOne, together with Playtime (France) and Scanbox (Scandinavia), moved under the umbrella of the new Vuelta Group, a European studio which fuses independent European distribution and production companies that share the same vision but retain their own identities within the group.

The mission: The goal is to finance films and TV series on a European basis, seeking cooperation where it makes sense. That makes it possible to create European English-language co-productions which also stand a chance on the American market.

“The creative forces in Europe are more than up for the challenge.”

Al Munteanu

Inspiring Projects and Paths

4 – Case Study: Woodwalkers and Supersex

Two exclusive case studies deliver practice reports: Producers Carolin Dassel and Corinna Mehner (blue eyes Fiction), Sandrine Mattes (Studiocanal), and Peter Trenkwalder (from the South Tyrolean production company Filmvergnuegen) shared details about the eventful filming of the IDM-funded project Woodwalkers. The second part of this feature film trilogy will start shooting in summer.

The challenge: Shooting with animals, including training, and securing the location by means of several kilometres of fence. The production employs sophisticated VFX techniques.


Challenges also dominated the shooting of the hotly debated Italian Netflix show Supersex about the life and times of porn actor Rocco Siffredi starring Alessandro Borghi as the main character. Francesca De Lisi (The Apartment Pictures) shared some of these at INCONTRI. 

The story: The subject matter, the life story of Rocco Siffredi (to which he owns the rights), was originally supposed to be adapted as a documentary. The TV show was developed with feminist activist and screenwriter Francesca Manieri (The Miracle) at the helm.


5 – Marco Chimenz, Group Co-General Manager, Federation Studios

In January 2024, he became manager of the Federation Studios in Paris, a company operating in all of Europe; at INCONTRI, Marco Chimenz talked about leaving Cattleya (“Gomorra”, “Django”) after more than twenty years. He banks on working with the best creatives and wants to “conquer the world” with international co-productions. With 35 companies in seven countries, this owner-operated European independent studio is on a mission to expand.

The recipe: Chimenz invokes the spirit of entrepreneurship and considers flexibility and the producer’s creativity to be the driving force.


“The trick is to do good work and develop good material which can hold their own in the market and which others want to buy.”

Marco Chimenz

6 – Gabriele Mainetti, director of Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot and Freaks Out

The Italian director, screenwriter, and producer Gabriele Mainetti talked about his experiences in the Italian film industry and outlined the various steps of his career in a panel titled “From Tiger Boy to Freaks Out”: from first testing the waters as an actor to his short films; from his debut feature film Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot to the production-related difficulties he encountered during the shooting of Freaks Out and, of course, his work in his production company Goon Films, which offers space to new talent.

The rethinking: At seventeen, Gabriele Mainetti began writing screenplays. He founded Goon Films because he could not find a producer willing to invest in his debut. He regards his short films as his industry calling card.


“Your audience is the world.”

Gabriele Mainetti
Text Marga Boehle
Foto Asia De Lorenzi
Published on 28.03.2024