L'Unione Cinematografica Educativa

(Union of Educational Cinematography.)
   National Film Institute. Founded originally in 1919 as the Sindacato Istruzione Cinematografica, a trade union of documentary filmmakers, L'Unione Cinematografica Educativa was officially constituted in 1924 to coordinate the use of film for public instruction on scientific and cultural matters as well as national and international affairs. In 1925 the body was nationalized and officially renamed Istituto Nazionale LUCE. Answerable directly to Mussolini, it was charged with the specific mission of spreading popular culture and disseminating information on the government's various projects and initiatives. In 1926 a decree, later to become law, required at least one LUCE newsreel or documentary to accompany every screening of feature films in all cinemas. In addition, to overcome the scarcity of theaters in many parts of Italy, LUCE developed a fleet of "auto-cinemas" whereby vehicles outfitted with screens and projection facilities would tour country areas to bring cinema to the most remote towns and villages. Since LUCE newsreels and documentaries often focused on Mussolini himself and Il Duce personally scrutinized anything that was to be broadcast, the institute's major role became ever more explicitly that of transmitting Fascist propaganda or, as film historian Gian Piero Brunetta famously put it, to construct a cinematographic monument to Mussolini himself. Nevertheless, the institute also covered other areas and included a science unit, which from 1927 was headed by the pioneer scientific documentary filmmaker Roberto Omegna. Omegna had worked for the Ambrosio Film company in Turin in the earliest days of Italian cinema, making numerous prize-winning documentaries, and he continued this educational activity at LUCE until his retirement in 1942.
   Having made a successful transition to sound, the institute was used by the government to establish a new state body in 1935, the Ente Nazionale Industrie Cinematografiche (National Film Industry Authority). Soon after, it was transferred administratively from the Head of Government's department to the Ministry for Popular Culture and, following the construction of Cinecitta, the institute's headquarters were also physically relocated to the new complex. After the war, given its close affiliation with the fallen regime, LUCE was provisionally put into liquidation in 1947 but was reinstated two years later with a mission similar in many ways to its original aim, namely, that of providing education and instruction through films, although clearly in a more democratic context. After being restructured a number of times from the mid-1960s onward, in line with changes in government policies regulating the rest of the film industry, in 1982 it was merged with Italnoleggio Cinematografico, a state company for film distribution. In the 1990s it was given greater autonomy to allow it to collaborate on projects funded by private investment. In 1998, as Istituto Luce spa., it became a subsidiary of Cinecitta Holding, a stock company controlled by the Ministry for Culture. Since then, in addition to its other activities, it has pursued a very active and successful strategy of marketing its huge store of historical material on DVD.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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  • L'Unione Cinematografica Educativa — (LUCE) (Union of Educational Cinematography.)    National Film Institute. Founded originally in 1919 as the Sindacato Istruzione Cinematografica, a trade union of documentary filmmakers, L Unione Cinematografica Educativa was officially… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • Instituto Luce — Este artículo está huérfano, pues pocos o ningún artículo enlazan aquí. Por favor, introduce enlaces hacia esta página desde otros artículos relacionados …   Wikipedia Español

  • ντοκιμαντέρ — Ο όρος χρησιμοποιήθηκε για πρώτη φορά από την κινηματογραφική κριτική ως επίθετο. Τον δημιούργησε ο Τζον Γκρίρσον, ο οποίος, το 1926, στην κριτική του για την ταινία Μοάνα του Ρόμπερτ Φλάερτι, που δημοσίευσε στην εφημερίδα Sun της Νέας Υόρκης,… …   Dictionary of Greek

  • Luce — Lù·ce s.m.inv. TS cinem. → film Luce {{line}} {{/line}} DATA: 1957. ETIMO: propr. sigla di L Unione Cinematografica Educativa, nome di una società di produzione cinematografica, con influsso di luce …   Dizionario italiano

  • Documentary —    Although subsequently often relegated to the status of poor cousin of the fictional feature film, the documentary held pride of place in the early years of the Italian cinema. Indeed it would appear to have been the commercial success in 1904… …   Guide to cinema

  • LUCE —    See L Unione Cinematografica Educativa.    Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira …   Guide to cinema

  • Documentary —    Although subsequently often relegated to the status of poor cousin of the fictional feature film, the documentary held pride of place in the early years of the Italian cinema. Indeed it would appear to have been the commercial success in 1904… …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

  • LUCE —    See L Unione Cinematografica Educativa …   Historical dictionary of Italian cinema

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