Venice government increases film fest support


ROME -- The regional government of Venice is increasing its support of the Venice Film Festival.

Davide Zoggia, president of the region, announced plans for the government to increase its support for both the Venice Film Festival and the Venice Biennale, the contemporary art exhibit that includes the film event.

A spokesman for the Province of Venezia said the increase would be at least €125,000 ($165,000) -- adding about 1.6% of Venice's total budget. The money will be used to upgrade facilities, the spokesman said, and more could be on the way.

Though Venice has clashed with the RomaCinemaFest several times since plans for it were announced during the Venice festival in 2005, the spokesman stopped short of naming the Rome event.

"The Venice Film Festival is one of the world's elite film events and we want to help make sure it remains in that category," the spokesman said.

The news from the regional government comes amid other information that shows that funding from private sponsors has skyrocketed in recent years, increasing an astonishing 729% between 2002 and 2006, from €601,000 to €5 million ($6.6 million) last year.