Famed Romestudio facility Cinecitta Studios has launched two new educational initiatives- a lecture series featuring more than 20 film-makers and technicians whohave worked at the studio and a six-week summer workshop at the studio forstudents at the University Of Southern California (USC) School OfCinema-Television.

In addition,Cinecitta has hired executive producer and film financing advisor PeterWetherell and marketing and publicity firm Jane Ayer Public Relations (JAPR),both in Los Angeles, to represent the company in the US.

The Cinecitta MasterClasses were already kicked off on July 4 when cinematographer Vittorio Storarospoke in the newly restored Luchino Visconti screening room to an audience offilm students and aficionados. Among those expected to participate in futuresessions include film-makers Roberto Benigni and Giuseppe Tornatore, composerEnnio Morricone and stunt coordinator Claudio Pacifico.

The USC schemesees 14 US students spending six weeks in the summer at Cinecitta, takingclasses and having full access to the studio's facilities. They willshoot their own short films on the lot. The scheme was devised by Cinecittadirector of international marketing Carole Andre-Smith and dean of USC'sSchool of Cinema-Television Elizabeth Daley.

Workingindividually, Wetherell and JAPR will focus on raising the profile ofCinecitta, the former to represent the studio to US producers who areconsidering shooting their film in Rome, the latter in handling all publicity.Cinecitta is gearing up for a publicity offensive to coincide with the openingof Martin Scorsese's epic Gangs Of New York, which opens in the US in Dec, and whichshot at the studio.