RAI to promote 50 Italian films in India


ROME -- RAI Trade, the film promotion arm of state broadcaster RAI, will promote 50 Italian films on an upcoming trade mission to India headed by Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi.

It is the first time Italian film will play a significant role in a prominent Italian mission headed by Prodi, who took power last May. Prodi's predecessor, billionaire media mogul Silvio Berlusconi, more often included initiatives to promote Italian films on his trade missions.

The weeklong India visit will start Feb. 12.

The films, which were specially selected for the Indian market by RAI Trade, will include "Fuoco su di me" (Fire at My Heart) from director Lamberto Lambertini and starring Omar Sharif; Alessando D'Alatri's "La Febbre" (The Feaver); and Paolo Franchi's "La Spettatrice" (The Spectator).

"The goal is to get the first foothold for Italian film in India," Alba Calia, a RAI Trade vp, said in a statement.

The main goal of the trade mission will be to increase trade between Italy and India from its current level of $1.8 billion per year to more than $10 billion within a decade, Prodi's office said.