Italian film official eyes boost for shorts, docus

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ROME -- Gaetano Blandini, the Italian government's top film official, said Monday that he has proposed an increase in funding for the production of short films and documentaries and incentives to get them dates in theaters.

Though the proposal was short on details, Blandini, the director general in charge of cinema for the Ministry of Culture, said in a statement that there will be a "slight rise" in state funding for short films and documentaries and that other incentives will be created in order to encourage cinema owners to screen them before or after feature films.

If passed as Blandini expects, the plan will be in place by the end of the year.

According to a spokesman at the ministry, the plan is designed to encourage the development of new talent in Italy.

It was not clear whether the pre- and post-film screening slots also will be open to foreign-made productions or what the incentives would be for cinema owners to give the short films and documentaries time on their big screens.
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