Film booted under Italy's new funding rules

'Short Fuse' now considered potentially offensive

ROME -- The Italian Ministry of Culture on Friday continued its efforts against films about Italy's history with terrorism, canceling 1.7 million euro ($2.5 million) in funding from a project called "Miccia Corta" (Short Fuse) after a specially appointed group decided the film would be offensive.

The Renato de Maria film, which tells the story of a 1982 jailbreak by four female terrorism suspects, had received preliminary approval for the funding under the previous government. But the ministry, which came into power with the new government in May, decided the project merited further review and called in a special committee, which ruled against state funding for the film.

The efforts to stem government funding for what Minister of Culture Sandro Bondi has said are "offensive" projects began in August, when "Il sole dell'avvenire" (Red Sun) screened at the Locarno Film Festival. Bondi said the film, which explores the birth of Italy's bloody Red Brigade movement, should not have been financed by the state.

More recently, press reports indicate that the ministry sought to block or slow the distribution of "Il sole dell'avvenire" by attempting to allocate the dozen or so screens that had been secured for the film this month to other films. The ministry declined comment on the topic, and the latest indications are that the film will have its Italian premiere on Oct. 23 in Rome, during the upcoming Rome Film Festival.