Benetton-funded production company Fabrica Cinema plans to launch a television production arm to be headed by director Marco Bellocchio and Fabrica director and former Locarno festival chief Marco Mueller.

"Fabrica Television is borne out of the necessity to double our efforts to create visibility for films otherwise regarded as marginal," said Mueller. "We can't just produce films without forgetting about distribution and sales, and television covers both of those areas."

Mueller added that he is currently looking to create strategic partnerships with international broadcasters that will serve as platforms for Fabrica Television films. He also plans to travel with Bellocchio to the ASEAN film festival in Vietnam in late November to scope out future projects for the new venture.

Three of the entries in official competition at this year's Venice film festival were funded by Fabrica's Montecinemaverita film fund: Iranian director Jafar Panahi's The Circle, Chinese entry Platform directed by Jia Zhangke, and Uttara from Indian director Buddhadeb Dasgupta.

Mueller also confirmed that Fabrica plans to open an internet portal to help sell its titles, which will be operational during MIFED this October and at next year's Cannes film festival.

Mueller, who resigned as Locarno director last month, will move to the newly expanded Fabrica site in northern Italy in January after his administrative term at Locarno is up. The new Fabrica space, 13,000 square metres to be divided by film production, graphic design and photography units, with be officially opened on September 21.