Napoli Studios to produce first film in '09

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ROME -- The city of Naples on Wednesday announced that it will develop its own version of the Italian capital's famed Cinecitta Studios, with a municipal government-funded project expected to produce its first film in 2009.

The project, which will be based in the former industrial area and Navy facilities known as Ilva Works Bagnoli, will be called Napoli Studios.

Plans are still in the early stages but it is known that the basis for the deal is an agreement between the city and regional governments, the Naples Film Commission and property developers Bagnofutura. Budget figures for the project were not released.

The city government said the project will help Naples by providing jobs, improving the city's image, and developing otherwise underutilized lands. Filmmakers would enjoy the advantages of a new alternative to Rome's Cinecitta. Napoli Studios would be Italy's only major film studios on the water.

Naples is Italy's third-largest city, behind Rome and Milan.
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