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HONG KONG — The new Italian Cinema Promotion Agency will use next month’s Hong Kong International Film & TV Market as a vehicle for reaching Asian buyers.

And no doubt the worldwide exposure of Roberto Benigni and “Life is Beautiful” helps the cause. In Hong Kong the Oscar-winning pic has earned a healthy $750,000.

“Asia is a difficult market for European films,” said the agency’s Luciana Castellina in a statement. “But we believe it’s important to open the market to Italian films. “The only foreign films people tend to see in Asia are American.”

The market, formerly known as Filmart, will run June 23-25. It changed its name to reflect an increased emphasis on television.

In January, the Italians visited Shanghai to talk to mainland government officials and screen several new Italian movies.

“We covered many topics, including co-production,” said Castellina. “We noticed that the only films screened in China are local, Hong Kong or American.”