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The Venice Film Market and Rome’s MIA mart are forging a tie in a spirit of Covid-19 era collaboration.

The two entities which, in different incarnations over the years have been known to be at each other’s throats, are joining forces with a small but significant pact.

It sees the 28 feature film and doc projects that are seeking gap financing during the Venice Production Bridge – as the Venice market is officially known – extend their reach by going onwards from Venice to being hosted on the digital platform of MIA 2020, which will is set to run as both an online and physical event in mid-October. MIA is an increasingly popular showcase for new TV series, feature films and documentaries.

“It’s another service that we can offer all the films and projects that are here,” says VPB chief Pascal Diot (pictured), who adds that it will be particularly beneficial to the Italian projects now seeking to close their budgets on the Lido.

“The consideration that MIA made was that Italy is playing a big part in Europe’s restart,” says MIA chief Lucia Milazzotto, who notes that Venice is very important this year “in terms of the market ecosystem.”

Therefore, “our approach was to think that many producers need greater opportunities and more time to pursue them,” Milazzotto adds.

Though MIA is currently separate from the Rome Film Festival, they are connected and overlap. The Rome fest, which has had its ups and downs over the years, has always competed with Venice, though it is in a different league.

So, while relatively marginal, this collaboration has symbolic significance for Italy.

“It is strategic and essential to create continuous synergies,” comments Giancarlo Leone, head of Italy’s TV producers’ association APA in a statement.

Francesco Rutelli, head of Italy’s motion picture association ANICA, notes that “In such a difficult and transformational period, when many meetings have been either canceled or strongly undermined, the circuit of big events, festivals and markets is betting on a new start in Italy: from Venice to Rome.”