Movieweb, the Italian production company which has backed producer Rita Rusic's latest movies after her split from husband Vittorio Cecchi Gori, has revealed plans to become the country's leading production outfit with its bid to boost its production slate to 12 movies a year.

Movieweb, which is managed and funded by the Livolsi convergence fund, was set up in 1999 by Ubaldo Livolsi, head of the Milan managing bank Livolsi & Partners, with a budget of Euros 50m to be invested in film production over five years. Since then, it has signed a deal with Rusic and also has a multi-pictuure distribution deal with Columbia Tri-star Italia.

Movieweb's newly-appointed managing director, Massimo Pacilio, confirmed that the company's upcoming films will include Roberta Torre's Angelo, which was recently shot in Palermo and produced by Rusic, and Valerio Andrei's comedy Un Amore Perfetto, currently in post-production. Hopes are high that these two releases will mark a turnaround after the box office disappointment of Movieweb's previous films: the Rusic-produced Stregati Della Luna and Ogni Lasciato E Perso.

Movieweb, which has just moved to new headquarters in Rome and will become fully operational at the end of September, now aims to produce six to seven films in 2002 and 12 films within three years, Pacilio said. Although he did not reveal information about future projects, Pacilio said the company will sign agreements with other Italian producers and will seek European co-production partners.

Meanwhile, Movieweb has just hired one of the industry's veteran communications and marketing professionals: Vito Matassino, who was the director of marketing at UIP for 23 years before moving to a similar position at the Rome-based distributor Filmauro four years ago.