The Italian Cultural Department has more than doubled the funding it started allocating last year for script development, giving state distributor Istituto Luce the task of managing the project for the second year in a row.

Istituto Luce president Angelo Guglielmi confirmed that the distributor has now set up a special commission, formed by an independent producer, a distributor and a writer, to decide which projects will receive funding.

The commission is formed by Maurizio Tini, head of Rome-based production company Sidecar Film; Giampaolo Letta, vice-president of mini-major Medusa Film; and Linda Ferri, one of the two writers of Nanni Moretti's Palme d'Or winner The Son's Room.

Funds granted for 2001 and 2002 amount to $1.2m (2.5 billion lire) per year, Guglielmi said, compared to $400,000 (840 million lire) allocated in the project's first year.

New projects that will receive "Sviluppo Progetto" funds, which were set up to primarily to help fresh talent, include Matteo Garrone's Il Chimico, whose l'Estate Romana screened in Venice last year.