NATPE president Bruce Johansen and PBS chief Pat Mitchell will be guest speakers at the 53rd edition of the Prix Italia, the prestigious international television and radio awards held annually in Italy, following a long-term collaboration agreement sealed by the US television market and Prix Italia.

As a result of the agreement, from the beginning of 2002 a selected group of Italian undergraduates, graduates and researchers will be able to participate in professional training schemes at various US TV production and programming companies, under the organization of the NATPE Educational Foundation.

Prix Italia head Carlo Sartori also said one of the long-term objectives will be to set up a market dedicated to Prix Italia's speciality programming: drama, documentaries, performing arts, and new media.

Other guest speakers at the NATPE day will include Allan McKeown (Takes On Productions), Sunta Izzicupo (CBS miniseries e TV movies), Discovery Channel's Clark Bunting, Celador's Adrian Woolfe, Philip Jones (Philip Jones International), Dick Askin (Tribune Entertainment), and Italian US-based producer Lorenzo Minoli.

The Prix Italia, held in Bologna from September 14th to 21st, will judge 96 TV programmes, 71 radio programmes and 30 Web sites from 50 countries around the world.

The event will also hold an international roundtable discussion on new media rights, and a talk on programming quality that will be hosted this year by Germany's ZDF.