Rome film festival eyes MIFED name

2009 event could host first Roman Film Market

ROME -- The Rome International Film Festival said Tuesday that it is in talks to acquire the name of the defunct MIFED film market -- shuttered in 2004 -- and relocate its current market functions from hotels near Rome's Via Veneto to a single structure.

First-year festival president Gian Luigi Rondi said that the event's 2009 edition could be the first to see what he predicts will come to be known as the Roman Film Market.

"We already have a market, but we want it to grow to fill the need for a fall market in Europe," Rondi said, referring to the festival's International Film Market, which was known as the Business Street until last year.

Rondi said that he has requested the right to use the name MIFED -- the Italian acronym stands for "International Market for Cinema and Multimedia" -- from the Milan Fairgrounds, which own the name.

The festival also is in talks to move the market to the neoclassical Palazzo delle Esposizioni, a nearly 1 million-square-foot former museum on Rome's Via Nazionale.

Media sector players say that the growth of the market segment of the three-year-old Rome festival is imperative to its long-term survival.

"Italy has a lot of festivals, and so the only logic for a new one is if it offers something the others don't have," said Riccardo Tozzi, founder of the Cattleya Studios and a former head of cinema and audiovisual association ANICA. "For Rome, I think that has to be a fall market to fill the space vacated by MIFED."

The Rome International Film Festival is set for Oct. 22-31, with the first five days overlapping with the festival's International Film Market.
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