The bank for a changing world

Well of History: BNL and cinema

  • 20.01.2016

The BNL (formerly Banca Nazionale del Lavoro), an Italian subsidiary that joined the BNP Paribas Group in 2006, is a key player in Italian cinema. Flashback on more than 80 years of support and masterpieces.

Financing Italian cinema

Founded in Rome in 1913, the BNL was originally called Instituto Nazionale di Credito per la Cooperazione. The aim of this establishment was to support the development of rural Italy by financing infrastructures and cooperative expansion projects. 

 In 1935, the BNL set up a department specialised in credit for the film industry. Between 1935 and 2015, the bank’s financing agency provided funding for almost 5,000 films.

The Art and the style

In 1937, Cinecittà, the city of cinema, was inaugurated to the south-east of Rome. It offered all the technical resources necessary to shoot films. This was a way of counteracting the supremacy of Hollywood by deploying the financial resources needed to help Italian cinema thrive. The BNL is involved in all stages of the film industry, from production to distribution.

Before and after the film

BNL has not only supported Italian cinema for 80 years, it has also enabled it to exert its influence internationally. Rome, Open City by Rossellini in 1944, La Dolce Vita by Fellini in 1960, Cinema Paradiso by Tornatore in 1989, The Son’s Room by Moretti in 2001 and The Great Beauty by Sorrentino in 2013 are some of the masterpieces that the bank has financed. Its commitment can also be seen in its partnerships with major events dedicated to cinema: the Rome International Film Festival, Venice Days, International Critics Week, as part of Venice International Film Festival.