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Laudadio to lead Cinecitta

Retiring Pontecorvo will stay on board for Italian studios

ROME — Felice Laudadio has been tapped president of Cinecitta Holding, officially taking over Thursday for retiring exec Gillo Pontecorvo, who remains on the board of directors.

Flanking Laudadio as Cinecitta Holding’s CEO will be Fabiano Fabiani, a former director of the RAI news arm and state-owned conglom Finmeccanica.

Laudadio immediately announced that the famous Italian studios will host a pre-Christmas party to celebrate Pontecorvo’s 80th birthday and to salute Italian cinema as it enters the next millennium.

Laudadio, known to many as the former director of the Venice Intl. Film Festival, will continue as artistic director of the Taormina fest and the Italian Cinema event in St. Vincent. A former film producer, he also will serve as a consultant on European production for the recently formed Mediatrade, whose president is Maurizio Costanzo and whose CEO is former RAI production exec Roberto Pace.

Cinecitta Holding is fully owned by the Italian state and currently run through the Ministry of Culture. Luigi Abete continues as president of the privately owned company Cinecitta Servizi.

“Cinecitta must become an instrument for promoting Italian cinema and educating new filmmakers, particularly screenwriters,” Laudadio told Daily Variety. He said he predicts Cinecitta will soon become the majority shareholder in Agenzia Italian Cinema, an autonomous body created to promote Italo films abroad. Presided over by Luciana Castellina, it has had trouble raising financing from producers’ groups.

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