Rome Fiction Fest to debut in July '07

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ROME -- The inaugural Rome Fiction Fest for television programming will be held July 2-9, organizers said Tuesday, giving the Italian capital its second new festival in as many years.

The television festival arrives in the wake of the first-year RomaCinemaFest, which debuted in October to mostly positive reviews. The announcement of dates and plans marks the first official word about the event, which was first tipped earlier this month (HR 11/18).

According to organizers, the new festival will feature about 70 competition titles divided into categories including best telefilm, comedy program, miniseries and continuing series. There also will be an award for new media content, such as programming destined for mobile devices.

Former Munich Film Festival head Marlene Strenbaum will be the festival's creative director. Former Banff TV Festival director Pat Ferns and director Steve della Casa also will hold top positions at the festival, organizers said.

The event will be backed by the regional government of Lazio (the region of Italy that includes Rome), the Lazio Chamber of Commerce, Italian state broadcaster RAI, private broadcaster Mediaset and satellite broadcaster Sky-Italia, a unit of News Corp.

Financial information for the festival has not been released, but the budget is reported to run to millions of euros.
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