Premieres pepper Rome fest

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The inaugural RomaFictionFest will include more than two dozen European or world premieres, including the final season of HBO's "The Sopranos," new Showtime series "The Tudors" and the Italian theatrical production "War and Peace."

The July 2-7 event was created by the region of Lazio and the Italian Association of Television Producers to promote television fiction. It is the second time in as many years that the Italian capital will host a major festival debut, following October's launch of the RomaCinemaFest.

Friday's announcement did not cover the fest's entire program, but the early indications of what's in store for the weeklong event indicate an intense schedule.

In addition to the aforementioned productions, the festival will include episodes from the latest seasons of "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy."

Co-produced by the fiction subsidiary of Italian state broadcaster RAI, "War and Peace" has been garnering a great deal of attention in Italy. The film is a co-production of Lux Vide and RAI Fiction, with a budget of nearly €30 million ($40 million). Based on the classic Tolstoy novel set in Napoleonic Russia, the film adaptation is directed by Robert Dornhelm.

The competition section is highlighted by the much-heralded Italian production "L'Ultimo Padrino" (The Last Godfather), directed by Marco Risi and starring Michele Placido as Mafia boss Bernardo Provenzano, and Hartmut Schoen's "Cold Summer," based on the August 1961 evening when construction began on the Berlin Wall.

The festival also will include 17 titles as part of a retrospective of RAI dramatizations of famous Russian novels and plays produced from 1958-2002.

Separate juries will select winners in three international categories: TV movies, miniseries and serials. In each category, prizes will be handed out for best production, director, actor and actress. There also will be special categories for local Italian productions.
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