Italy's Scola turns camera on Veltroni


ROME -- Former Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, founder of the RomaCinemaFest and candidate for Italian prime minister, likely will be the focus of a new film project from Italian auteur Ettore Scola.

Scola, who has not made a film since 2003, is the winner of two Palme d'Ors in Cannes -- for 1976's "Ugly, Dirty and Bad" and for 1980's "The Terrace." He also earned the Berlinale's Silver Lion for 1983's "The Dance."

Scola told Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera that he was eager to make a documentary or film about Veltroni, though "nothing firm has been decided."

A spokesman for Veltroni's nascent campaign for prime minister confirmed Tuesday that the men discussed the possibility, though the spokesman said Veltroni would not have time to participate during the electoral campaign.

The Scola and Veltroni families have known each other for years: Corriere della Sera reported that Scola first met Veltroni when the candidate was a baby.

For Veltroni, such a project could improve his political fortunes as he works to combat the superior name recognition of opponent Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time prime minister best known as the media tycoon behind broadcast and cinema giant Mediaset. The vote is set to take place April 13-14.

Scola served as jury head at the RomaCinemaFest in 2006, giving a boost in prestige to the festival's inaugural year.