MIFED rising from the ashes

Market could be relaunched in Rome

ROME -- Long thought dead, Milan's MIFED market -- last held in 2004 -- registered a faint pulse Wednesday.

Italy's culture minister and the mayor of Rome announced that they are working on plans to resurrect the venerable market next year, tying it to what would be the fourth edition of the RomaCinemaFest.

When MIFED's film and multimedia market closed, it left Italy without a major market to compete with the ones in Cannes, Toronto, Berlin and Santa Monica, whose American Film Market hastened MIFED's death when it shifted its dates to the fall in 2004.

If MIFED successfully relaunches in conjunction with the Rome festival, it would give Rome a significant niche that the storied Venice Film Festival lacks. But the second coming of MIFED, which failed to link with Venice in its final years, is not yet assured.

RomaCinemaFest officials said there are still issues to be ironed out before it can be considered a sure thing. But with Minister of Culure Sandro Biondi and Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno -- a one-time harsh critic of the Rome event -- behind the proposal, chances are good MIFED will live again.