ROME – The Venice Film Festival’s VFM mart is expanding its scope by launching a gap financing co-production platform for European pics.

The Lido’s new co-prod micro-mart, which aims to help European pics looking for that crucial final piece of their financing, will run August 29 and 30.

It is called Venice European Gap-Financing Co-Production Market.

The main criteria to be eligible is to have 70 percent of financing in place. The VFM will offer 16 selected projects (8 European and 8 Italian) the opportunity to close their international financing through one-to-one meetings with financiers, producers, distributors, sales agents and film funds. Deadline for submissions is June 20.

Now at its third edition, the VFM is gaining traction as a specialty pre-Toronto event. Last year saw a 25 percent rise in industryites with 246 distributors and 86 sales agents attending.

Among other initiatives, this year’s VFM will also feature an Italian Industry Focus dedicated to how the Italo industry can become become more geared towards the international market.

The 3rd Venice Film Market Will run August 28-September 2.

The Venice fest’s  71st edition will run August 27-September 6.