Laudadio tapped to direct first Rome TV fest

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ROME -- Italy's new RomaFictionFest TV festival has tapped Taormina Film Festival artistic director Felice Laudadio as the director of its first edition, organizers said Tuesday.

Laudadio is a familiar face on the Italian film scene. In addition to his role as chief of the Taormina event, the 62-year-old held the same post at the Venice Film Festival in 1997 and 1998 and is the director of Rome's Casa del Cinema, the city's two-year-old film promotion center.

Laudadio, who has held his Taormina post since 1999, will assume his new role in addition to his current duties.

RomaFictionFest organizers hailed the appointment as a feather in the inaugural festival's hat.

"Laudadio's level of experience is a guarantee for a new festival like the RomaFictionFest," said Giulia Rodano, cultural director for the Regional Government of Lazio, a major sponsor of the July 2-7 event.

The festival also announced that its budget will be in the range of €6 million-€7 million ($8 million-$9.3 million). The budget will come from a list of sponsors that includes state broadcaster RAI, commercial rival Mediaset, satellite broadcaster Sky-Italia, the Regional Government of Lazio and the Lazio Chamber of Commerce.

The RomaFictionFest will highlight fiction programming for television and feature competitions for best telefilm, comedy program, miniseries and continuing series. It will also present an award for new media content, such as programming destined for mobile devices.
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