TwentiethCentury Fox Italy and Sky Italia have unveiled a joint initiative to invest inItalian film and television productions through local talent, producers,directors and writers.

Osvaldo DeSantis, formerly general manager of Sky Italia, will head up the partnership asmanaging director of production and theatrical distribution at TwentiethCentury Fox Italy in Rome.

De Santis willremain on the Sky Italia board and reports to Christian Grass, executive vicepresident of Twentieth Century Fox, Europe, and Sky Italia chief executiveofficer Tom Mockridge.

Alberto Pasqualewill remain general manager of theatrical for Twentieth Century Fox Italy,based in Rome. He will continue to manage all of Fox's theatrical day-to-daymarketing and distribution activities, reporting directly to De Santis.

"We feel thetime is right to set up this collaboration, which will enable us to takeadvantage of local production opportunities in a changing market place," Grasssaid.

Mockridge addedthat since its launch Sky had been the beneficiary of strong collaboration fromits sister companies, Twentieth Century Fox and Fox Channels International,both of which had contributed a steady flow of programming to fuel Sky Italia'sgrowth.

"Now that Sky isseen in well in excess of three million Italian homes, we have the criticalmass of viewers to take this initiative, supporting our existing subscriberswith an even wider choice of programming and help to win new subscriptions,"Mockridge said.

'I amparticularly pleased that our colleague Osvaldo De Santis, with his enormousknowledge of the Italian entertainment industry and intimate knowledge of bothFox and Sky, is able to lead this initiative while continuing as keycontributor to the Sky Italia team."

Following fiveconsecutive years of fiscal growth in the home entertainment division,Gianmaria Dona will now focus solely on home entertainment and becomes managingdirector of home entertainment at Twentieth Century Fox Italy.

He will continueto serve on the board of Twentieth Century Fox Italy Theatrical and will bebased in Milan. He will report to Gary Ferguson, senior vice president ofTwentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Europe.

"This is astrategic move to further strengthen our presence in Italy,' Paul Hanneman,executive vice president of international sales and strategic planning, andTomas Jegeus, executive vice president of international marketing, said in ajoint statement.

"We're excited by theopportunities in Italy and, with the expertise of Osvaldo and Alberto we have agreat team in place to take advantage of these opportunities and to meet thechallenges of this dynamic market.'