RomaFictionFest sets $6 mil budget


ROME -- The inaugural RomaFictionFest will launch in July with a €4.5 million ($6 million) budget, the festival announced Monday, a much lower figure than originally forecast but an amount that organizers say will be plenty for the five-day event.

When plans for the July 2-7 festival were announced in January, organizers boasted that it would feature a budget in the €6 million-€7 million ($8 million-$9.4 million) range -- roughly on par with Italy's Venice Film Festival and the deep-pocketed RomaCinemaFest, which debuted last year.

But organizers said the final budget will be plenty to pull off a strong inaugural edition of the festival.

"Keep in mind this is just for five days, not nearly as long as major film festivals," a spokesman said in a telephone interview.

The Venice festival will last 10 days this year, while the RomaCinemaFest is scheduled to last nine days.

The RomaFictionFest's program, released last week, will include screenings of the final season of "The Sopranos" as well as episodes of "The Tudors," "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy." Also on tap are the newest adaptation of "War & Peace" and the true Mafia story "L'Ultimo Padrino" (The Last Godfather).

The RomaFictionFest was created by the regional government of Lazio and the Italian Association of Television Producers to promote television fiction. Sponsors include state broadcaster RAI, Silvio Berlusconi's broadcasting giant Mediaset and the Rome Chamber of Commerce.