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Last Updated: Friday, 27 January 2006, 13:22 GMT
Rome mayor launches film festival
The mayor is keen to boost Rome's profile as a centre for film-making
The mayor of Rome has unveiled plans for an annual international film festival in the Italian capital.

Walter Veltroni played down suggestions that the October festival, which has a budget of 7m euros (4.8m), would damage the nearby Venice Film Festival.

"We want to grow together," Veltroni told reporters.

The future of Venice Film Festival is currently in jeopardy, with organisers struggling to find the 100m euros (68.5m) funding for new headquarters.

"This is a different creature," said Mr Veltroni of the inaugural Rome festival, which will involve a jury of ordinary film-goers and take a more popular approach than its Venetian rival.

Mr Veltroni has been eager to boost Rome's profile as a centre for film-making, with Mission Impossible 3, Ocean's Twelve and the TV series Rome all recently filmed there.

Emerging film-makers

With a budget raised through private investment, the festival will have five sections including a competition for emerging film-makers, premieres, retrospectives and documentaries.

It will be based mainly in the city's new Auditorium concert hall, but will also use venues in the historic city centre.

Venice Film Festival, which takes place in September, is the oldest film festival in the world.

Director Marco Muller has threatened to step down if funding cannot be found for the new iceberg-shaped Palace of Cinema.

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