Seeking to provide international film-makers with a comprehensiveand competitive production package, Cinecitta Studios has partnered with Rome'sFilm Commission to offer financial and location services.

The commission officially set up shop within the studio compoundin February and will provide assistance with gap financing, free andreduced-fee shooting permits and other services.

A crucial component in the operation is the fledgling CinecittaFinancial Consulting, which launched late last year and advises on availabletax breaks and funding packages for producers.

The consultancy is a stand-alone service that does not require ashoot to take place at Cinecitta.

The studio, which boasts 22 stages and complete post productionfacilities, has also hired Francesco Papa, an in-house line producer who willidentify physical production savings in Rome as part of an aggressive policy ofluring productions to Cinecitta.

"The new film commission has its roots in Rome but will have agreater international focus," Carole-Andre Smith, director of marketing forCinecitta Studios, said in a statement.

"This will assist us incontinuing to draw great film-makers from all over the world. Being able tooffer international productions these additional incentives is an importantstep for Cinecitta and the Rome Film Commission, ensuring that all details of afilm's production will be taken care of."

Mel Gibson's boxoffice phenomenon The Passion Of The Christ recently filmed at Cinecitta and currentproductions include A Good Woman with Helen Hunt, Renny Harlin's Exorcist: The Beginning and Steven Soderbergh's OceanC;s 12, which is in pre-production.