Rome TV fest sets dates

Event to run July 2-7

ROME — Rome will host a high-profile international event dedicated to TV drama with July 2-7, 2007, set as the dates for its debut edition being launched in close collaboration with the Eternal City’s RomeFilmFest.

Emboldened by the relative success of the first RomeFilmFest last month, plans for a Rome broadcasting shindig (announced by Variety on Oct. 10, 2006) are now moving ahead and rapidly materializing.

RomeFilmFest prexy Goffredo Bettini is setting up a foundation that will be in charge of running both the film fest and the TV event, provisionally called Festa della Fiction.

Italy’s TV producers’ association, APT, is the other active force in the effort, which is backed by Italy’s top generalist broadcasters, RAI and Mediaset, and by paybox Sky Italia.

While an artistic director for the nascent TV fest has yet to be appointed, former Banff topper Pat Ferns is on board as a consultant to hold his trademark Market Simulation pitching sessions in Rome. Marlene Sternbaum – a former Munich Film Fest topper, who in 2002 ran APT’s short-lived Venice Television Festival – will be in charge of the event’s international side.

Plan is for the fiction fest to comprise seven sections for a total of 70 TV titles, including five world preems.

Main venue will be Rome’s centrally located Adriano multiplex cinema with daily gala events held in spectacular outdoor locations, including the Roman Forum.

The Rome TV fest has strong political backing from former RAI talkshow host Piero Marrazzo, who is now prexy of the Lazio region surrounding Rome, and also from Lazio’s general secretary, Francesco Gesualdi, who is a former Cinecitta topper.

Funding for the teledrama fest, from private sponsors as well as regional coin, is believed to amount to as much as Euros 10 million ($12.5 million), placing it on a monetary par with the lavish RomeFilmFest, of which it will be a sister event in a concerted effort to boost Italy’s film and TV industries, both largely located in the Italian capital.

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