Antonioni, Wenders tap Sicily fund

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ROME -- Film legends Michelangelo Antonioni and Wim Wenders will be among the first directors to make films in Sicily with funding from the regional government's new €7 million ($9.2 million) budget from the European Union.

The first film to receive the bulk of its funding from the Sicily fund will be "Rosso Malpelo," from director Pasquale Scimeca. But Antonioni and Wenders are thus far the biggest names associated with the project, with plans to film "Aquiloni sull'Etna" (North Winds on Mt. Etna) and "Palermo Story," respectively.

Antonioni, one of the deans of the Italian film industry, has two Oscar nominations and has made more than 40 films over a career spanning more than six decades. Wenders was nominated for a best documentary Oscar in 2000 for "Buena Vista Social Club."

Scimeca is best known for his 2000 film "Placido Rizzotto," which was honored with a special FEDIC Award at the Venice International Film Festival that year.

The EU announced it would finance the Sicilian fund last year.
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