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Rome mart confirms expansion

Industry event reveals NCN winners

The Rome Film Festival Business Street mart wrapped Sunday, trumpeting its future expansion into the Eternal City’s Maxxi art museum and announcing winners of its New Cinema Network co-production component, as some deals surfaced.

Next year Rome’s informal mart will use the city’s new contempo art center, designed by architect Zaha Hadid, for screenings, meetings and confabs, alongside its current Via Veneto locations.

The new digs are 500 yards from the fest’s main hub, the Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium, in Rome’s Flaminio neighborhood.

Riccardo Tozzi, prexy of Italy’s motion picture org., Anica, hailed the move as “great news that will make the festival and the market shift gears,” during a presser at the Maxxi attended by Rome mayor Gianni Alemanno.

This year’s five-day, largely Euro-centric mart was attended by 280 buyers and 93 sales companies with 116 titles unspooling, 32 of which were market premieres.

First deals to trickle through are buzzed black comedy “Hotel Lux,” by Leander Haussmann, sold by Bavaria Film to Italy’s Archibald, and “Noordzee Texas,” by Belgium’s Bavo Defurne, picked up by Italo specialty label Atlantide from Wavelength Pictures.

“Off Frame,” a docu by Mohanad Yaqubi about the Palestinian Film Unit, which produced pics championing the Palestinian cause in the 1970s, took the Eurimages Co-production Development Award, worth €30,000 ($41,000).

The Network’s Focus Europe Award went to “Human Song” by Belgian helmers Benedicte Lienard and Mary Jimenez. Lienard’s well-received first work, “A Piece of Sky,” unspooled in Un Certain Regard at Cannes.

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