Lucca Comics & Games 2012, the international comic book and gaming festival, is taking off and will take place from the first to the fourth of November in the Tuscan city. An event that has grown over the years to reach 150,000 visitors in 2011, thus competing with the major world events of the same type, such as the Comi-Con in San Diego. And this result doesn’t concern only visitors, exhibitors or journalists, but also the scope of the festival, which is rapidly extending beyond the borders of comic books and games. In fact, since last year Lucca is also Movie: there’s an area dedicated to previews and projections of some of the most anticipated movies, not only for lovers of comics, but for the entire audience.
For example, this year there are many different proposals: at the festival we’ll be able to find the “monstrous” Frankenweenie by Tim Burton, many exclusive contents of the last Tarantino’s movie, Django Unchained, the animated feature Hotel Transylvania, Wreck-It Ralph, and the next Marvel film, Iron Man 3; the action movie Looper, with Joseph Gordon Levitt and Bruce Willis, the thriller Red Lights, and a must of Japanese animation, From Up on Poppy Hill by Goro Miyazaki [for the full schedule, take a look on the ScreenWEEK blog]. These are previews offered by some of the main Italian distribution companies, as well as local branches of the foreign majors, following a well-established international trend which features the San Diego convention (in a recent interview with Forbes, David Glanzer, director of marketing of the Comic-Con International, reminded how the relationship between the event and cinema was born no less than decades ago, at the time of Frank Capra and later with a collaboration with Lucasfilm in the ’70), and other budding festivals, such as the New York Comic-Con, which according to Variety “it can be ignored anymore by the marketing experts in Hollywood”, since it’s an unmissable “opportunity to talk directly to consumers”, who were more than 100,000 in the last edition.
To understand better how the Lucca Movie Comics & Games is going, we interviewed Mario Pardini, coordinator of this new area of the festival, which this year reached its second edition.
How was the Movie section born?
The Movie section was born as a natural evolution of the Lucca Comics & Games convention. After the great development of the Comics and then of the Games areas, we couldn’t do without the cinema. The 2011 was the first year of the new section, and since it had a great success, we believe that this new part can have an increasing role in the future.
What kind of movies will be shown in Lucca?
Obviously, the main target is comic-related movies, but let’s not forget that Lucca Comics & Games is the biggest event we have in Italy for young people: this means that the contents are not only related to the world of Comics and Games, but also to this specific generational target.
What kind of film events are part of the Lucca Movie, and what should the visitors expect from them?
Last year we had many events, such as a few minutes long world premiere of The Avengers, or the full preview of movies like Real Steel and Scialla!. This year, we have a lot on our plate: several full previews and much-awaited contents.
With the explosion of cinecomics, it’s now clear that cinema owes a lot to comic books, but what about the other way around? How much comic books owe to cinema?
Well, obviously the success of a movie at the box office can be a great push for the sales of all the official merchandising. Just think of The Avengers and its huge success.
What’s the role of the Movie section regarding the growth of Lucca’s audience?
We want the Movie area to become a landmark event of the convention in the near future, aiming not as much at a growth of the audience, but rather at its consolidation. Our ambition is to make it become a stable interlocutor for both the national distribution companies and the American majors, that could use Lucca for the launch of their blockbusters in Europe. This means that we want to reach an international audience: our dream is to become one day the European version of the Comic-Con.