Unione Cinematografica Italiana

(UCI)
(Italian Cinematographic Union.) In January 1919, in response to the declining fortunes of the film industry at home and increased competition from abroad, 11 of the major Italian studios, together with their actors, directors, and financial underwriters, united under the leadership of Baron Alberto Fassini, formerly head of Cines, to create the Unione Cinematografica Italiana. While the consortium initially had some success in increasing production, poor management practices and disagreements between a number of the major players prevented it from functioning smoothly from the very start. By February 1920 Baron Fassini had left to join the board of an Italian American shipping line. Then in 1921, with productions proliferating, costs soaring, and box office earnings continuing to fall, the collapse of one of the trust's principal backers, the Banca Italiana di Sconto, dealt it a mortal blow. Recklessly, however, more large-scale productions were financed and executed but most failed dismally at the box office. Furthermore, the trust's poor distribution network meant that many of the films that were produced were not properly exhibited and sometimes never released. With an expensive remake of Quo vadis? still in production in 1923, the consortium was declared legally bankrupt, although it was not officially wound up until 1926 when all its assets were liquidated, most being bought up by the enterprising Stefano Pittaluga.
   Historical Dictionary of Italian Cinema by Alberto Mira

Guide to cinema. . 2011.

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