After anear 18-month freeze in public funds, a new round of financing from the state'sFondo di Garanzia has allowed several films to finally get off the ground.

Amongthese is Michele Soavi's long-gestating Arrivederci Amore Ciao, which isproduced by StudioCanal Urania. Adapted from Massimo Carlotto's eponymousnovel, the film tells the story of Giorgio Pellegrini, a subversiveex-politician on the run, who discovers the pleasure of killing people toachieve his political goal.The picture is currently shooting in Bologna.

Veteranauteur Ermanno Olmi has also started shooting his latest film, Cento Chiodi(literally, One Hundred Nails), which has just received Euros 2m inpublic funds towards production and a further Euros 100,000 towardsinternational sales. Produced by Olmi's outfit Cinemaundici with backing fromRai Cinema, the pictures focuses on a young Bologna university professor whodecides to leave town when he becomes the subject of a tough investigation, andmoves out to an old farmhouse on the banks of the Po river.

Meanwhile,legendary LA-based Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis is currently inproduction in the Tuscan hills on Decameron, a $38m English-languagemovie co-produced with Tarak Ben Ammar. The romantic drama, written anddirected by David Leland, focuses on two young lovers fleeing from the plaguethat swept across Europe in 1348.Hayden Christensen and Mischa Barton head the cast.

Back inRome, De Laurentiis's nephew, Aurelio, is also developing an English-languagemovie. After recently single-handedly producing Sky Captain and The World ofTomorrow and this year's Italian-language hit Manual of Love, he iscurrently lining up L'oscura Immensita' della Morte, which, like ArrivederciAmore Ciao, is adapted from a novel by Massimo Carlotto. The film is to be directed by DavideFerrario (After Midnight) and is about a man, Stefano Contin, whose wifeand 8-year-old son are killed during an armed robbery. Fifteen years later,Contin has changed his whole life, given up his successful job, works in asupermarket and lives a lonely existence, thinking only of revenge.

In themeantime, Italy is pursuing its long-standing relationship with Spanish andLatin American markets.

Romesales outfit Filmexport has just boarded Maradona, an $18 million biopicthat is finally set to get off the ground on June 27, several years after theproject was first announced. Produced by Spain's Ombu Producciones andGlobomedia, with Italy's Comedy Film, the film will shoot for 16 weeks inArgentina, Cuba, Barcelona and Naples.

Argentinais also the chosen location for Emanuele Crialese's much-awaited follow-up to Respiro,The Golden Gate, a perioddrama starring Charlotte Gainsbourg about the sea voyage and arrival of Italianimmigrants in New York's Ellis Island at the turn of the last century.

Meanwhile,Sintra head Rosanna Seregni has boarded Argentinian director Rodrigo Moreno'sThe Minder, a drama that is currently also shooting in Buenos Aires.

Last, but no means least, Italy is alsogearing up to host a portion of the Mission: Impossible 3 shoot, whichwill start principal photography on July 18. Tom Cruise will of course star andproduce with his partner Paula Wagner through their Cruise/Wagner Productions.JJ Abrams is directing, with the cast so far including series regular VingRhames, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Michelle Monaghan and Philip Seymour Hoffman.

For full Italian production listings, click here