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Of Kings & Castles

This exotic region in Italy is straight out of a fairytale, soaked in history and picture-perfect

Puglia, also known as Apulia, is a South Italian region bordering the Adriatic Sea in the east, the Ionian Sea to the southeast and the Strait of Òtranto and Gulf of Taranto in the south. Imagine Italy as a leg whose foot is shod by a high-heel called Puglia. Puglia is exceptionally sun-soaked and dry, with a scarcity of fresh water. Its most southern portion, known as the Salento peninsula, forms a stylish high-heel for Italy.

The region comprises 19,358 sq km of picturesque locations and is bordered by the Italian regions of Molise to the north, Campania to the west and Basilicata to the southwest. Its neighbours are Greece and Albania across the Ionian and Adriatic Seas, respectively. The region extends as far north as Monte Gargano.

Filmmakers will find Puglia exotic in many ways, partly due to its historical evolution, but also socially and culturally, Puglia is just now catching up with the rest of Italy. Throughout its history, till recent times, the region has been pure with its locations and locals but it still has a contemporary touch.

Puglia’s cities and towns and outlying areas have Greek and Roman ruins, paleo-Christian ruins and public and ecclesiastical buildings done in every major style, from Romanesque to Gothic to Renaissance. In Puglia, and nowhere else, you will also find a very peculiar type of building – the trullo – a beehive-shaped, whitewashed structure.

Boundless fields of wheat, plain and finely tilled lands, fascinating caustic and sea caves, smoking chimneys, sunny farms, ancient olive trees, maze-like alleys. Dry-stone walls, industrial archaeology, huge deserted squares, mystery magic castles, thick green woods, medieval small villages and baroque cities is what you will find when shooting in Pugllia.

There’s plenty of architectural interest in Puglia, as each ruling dynasty left its own distinctive mark on the landscape – the Romans their agricultural schemes and feudal lords their fortified medieval towns. Perhaps most distinctive are the kasbah-like quarters of many towns and cities, a vestige of the Saracen conquest of the ninth century – the one at Bari is the biggest and most atmospheric. The Normans endowed Puglia with splendidly ornate cathedrals, while the Baroque exuberance of towns like Lecce and Martina Franca are a testament to the Spanish legacy. But if there’s one symbol of Puglia that stands out, it’s the imposing castles.


Summers have clear, blue skies and the temperature in July and August averages 30°C. Spring and autumn are moderate. Winters are cooler, with temperatures usually above 0°C, and only occasionally rising above 15°C.

Apulia Film Commission (AFC)

The Apulia Film Commission dedicates a fund to the most-convincing productions and interesting projects in long/short movies, documentaries, video clips, video games, mockumentaries and TV series. The Apulia Film Fund works as a grant for movie productions interested in shooting in Puglia. You can submit your movie projects three times a year. Each individual production may apply for a maximum grant as detailed below:

Who Can Apply

Italian, European and non-European audio-visual, film and TV production companies can apply for the funding.

Eligible Projects

• Full-length feature and animation films

• TV/Internet films, fiction and animation

• TV/Internet series, fiction and animation

• Documentaries or docu-fictions

• Fiction or animation shorts

• Other formats (all film types not included in the previous categories, with the exception of commercials and TV programmes)

Application Requirements

Financial funding guarantees at the time of application as follows:

• 60 per cent for full length films, TV/internet films, TV/internet series (also animation)

• 30 per cent for documentaries and docu-fictions

• 30 per cent for shorts (also animation)

• 40 per cent for other formats

Amount Of Funding And Maximum Grant Available

• For full-length feature films, TV/Internet films, TV/Internet series (also animation), 25 per cent of the budget spent in Apulia (net of VAT), up to a maximum € 250,000

• For documentaries or docu-fictions, 50per cent of the budget spent in Apulia (net of VAT), up to a maximum of € 40,000

• For fiction or animation shorts, 70per cent of the budget spent in Apulia (net of VAT), up to a maximum of

€ 20,000

• For other projects, 40per cent of the budget spent in Apulia (net of VAT), up to a maximum of € 40,000.

Hospitality Funding Grant

Through its Hospitality Funding grant, the Apulia Film Commission offers funding to help cover accommodation and living costs in Apulia. This fund can be used to cover (completely or partially) costs directly incurred by production companies while operating in Apulia. Its cost categories include accommodation, board (refreshments, catering, packed meals) and travel and transport within the Apulia region (including vehicle hire). The grant is provided with support from the European Regional Development Fund and can be combined with all other types of AFC Foundation funding except the Apulia Regional Film Fund.

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