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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
De Niro backs Rome Film Festival
Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni (l) and Robert De Niro
Veltroni (l) is eager to boost Rome as a venue for film-making
Actor Robert De Niro has backed the inaugural Rome Film Festival ahead of its debut next month.

De Niro's Tribeca Film Festival, founded in the wake of the 9/11 attacks in New York, is to share some of its films with the new Rome festival.

The Italian event will screen ten films shown earlier in the year at Tribeca. In return, Tribeca 2007 will show a selection of films from Rome.

De Niro said he "looked forward to a long relationship" between the two.

Organisers said the move would give films greater exposure on both sides of the Atlantic, allow audiences more choice and foster better links in the competitive film festival world.

'Common aim'

"We started our festival from scratch so we know what it takes to start out," said Jennifer Maguire, president of the Tribeca Film Festival.

"And Bob De Niro loves Rome, so that is a big part of this."

The Rome Film Festival opens with the world premiere of Nicole Kidman's latest film, Fur, on 13 October.

The programme will also include a 20-minute screening of The Good Shepherd, directed by De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie.

The mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni, said the two festivals shared much in common.

"Both festivals love quality, but they also love the audience," he said. "They do not believe quality and the audience are opposites."

The Tribeca festival has enjoyed steady success since being set up in 2002 to revitalise lower Manhattan following the 11 September attacks.

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