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BARCELONA — Madrid is adding another festival to an already crowded European calendar.

The Cim Madrid International Film Festival, skedded to run March 26-April 1, will specialize in art pics. The new sprocket opera is supported by Madrid’s municipal authorities, producers rights society Egeda, producers lobby Fapae and the Madrid Film Commission, fest director Maria Kannon de Cle told Daily Variety.

The idea is for the fest to take place in Madrid’s Palacio de Congresos. The event is budgeted at $1 million, Kannon de Cle added. Fest’s main funding will be private sector. “We are tapping into various sources of private sponsorship,” De Cle added.

“We’re betting on high quality features, not necessarily from indie pro-duction houses. We’re looking for movies that show excellence not only in direction and acting but also lensing, music, costumes…,” De Cle said.

The official competitive section will have about 10 pics, which will be world preems. Sidebars will include a new directors section and another specializing in international indies. Cim will also give lifetime achievement awards.

De Cle’s announcement comes in the runup to municipal and regional elections in Madrid in early 2007 and could be interpreted by jaundiced commentators as a play to the gallery by local politicos who have only begun recently to support filmmaking and film events in Madrid.

While Madrid will want a festival, whether the international industry will welcome another event is another matter. Fest falls between two European mega-fests — Berlin and Cannes, which both provide a platform for upscale movies in their festival lineups and markets.