Italian film promotion body Italia Cinema could be forced to close by the end of the year because of drastic cuts in government funding.

Created five years ago by Italy's culture ministry, Italia Cinema is present at all major international film events, where it organises press conferences, provides promotional material for Italian films and promotes film business between Italy and international buyers.

The agency also organises retrospectives internationally as well as the Italian Screenings, which is attended by international buyers and whose third edition was held last month in Perugia.

Italian lawyer Giovanni Galoppi recently replaced former producer Marina Cicogna as the president of the organisation, 90% of which is owned by Cinecitta Holding, the state umbrella company for the famous Rome studios.

Minority shareholders in Italia Cinema are state broadcaster Rai, national entertainment body Agis, exhibitors organisation ANEC and independent producers association API.

Italia Cinema's diminished funds are part of a general government cut in funding for the arts, which has already affected, among others, a host of festivals around the country.