Rome fest fetes top pitches


ROME -- Two Italian projects and one candidate from the U.S. were selected for the Best Pitch award during the RomaFictionFest's "speed dating" market, organizers said Thursday.

The U.S. candidate is half-hour series "Midlife Mambo." "Miss Food" and "People of Respect," both from Italy, also were honored. The awards were based on the first day of "speed dating" pitches on Wednesday.

The pitching continued Thursday, with 10 projects from five different countries making the case for resources and help from potential co-producers. The awards for Thursday's short program pitches will be announced Friday.

"Speed dating" pairs a project's creators with distributors and producers for brief 10-minute interviews.

Meanwhile, the RomaFictionFest's program Thursday was highlighted by a world premiere of "L'Affaire Ben Barka" (Ben Barka), a two-part production from Jean-Pierre Sinapi, about the kidnapping of Moroccan political agitator Barka. The Italian premiere of the first two episodes of the U.S. television series "The Tudors" also screened Thursday.

The RomaFictionFest, which kicked off Monday, runs through Saturday.