Following an invitation by Rome's cinephile mayor Walter Veltroni, the European Film Awards will be travelling for the first time to the Italian capital. Traditionally alternating between the European Film Academy's home town of Berlin and other European cities, the relocated ceremony will take place on December 7th 2002.

The event will be hosted in Rome's newly-unveiled futuristic Music Auditorium, a lead and wooden dome designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. A traditional all-industry weekend of workshops, panel-debates and other sidebars will surround the main event, which has seen its profile grow rapidly over the last few years.

Around 2,000 guests are expected to attend the ceremony, which will be broadcast live on RAI2. Viewers will also be able to tune in across most of continental Europe, the UK, the US, New Zealand, South Africa, and Latin America.

Headed by Wim Wenders (president) and Nik Powell (chairman), the European Film Academy currently counts 1,500 members from across Europe, who vote on 16 awards. Board members include Italy's Adriana Chiesa, head of international sales agent Adriana Chiesa Enterprises and Roberto Cicutto of Rome's arthouse production and distribution outfit Mikado Film.

The European Film Academy was created in 1988 by its first president, Ingmar Bergman, and a group of European producers, filmmakers and actors with the aim of developing the European film industry and promoting European movies outside their own national boundaries.