Rome FilmFest has announced the formation of Rome Cinema Foundation, intended tostrengthen the new Cinema Festa di Roma, which ran its first edition Oct 13-21in the Italian capitol.

Goffredo Bettiniwill leave his role as president of Rome Music Foundation at the Auditorium Music Park where hehas been President since 1996 to helm the Cinema Foundation. Bettini alsoserves as president RFF's board of directors as well as Senator in Italy's OliveBranch coalition.

His roleis central to RFF since the Auditorium serves as official hub of the Rome FilmFestival.

'Afterthe first edition of Rome, whichwas experimental, we thought the best solution for the festival is to createits own foundation which will give greater autonomy to the artistic board,"Bettini told Bettiniconfirmed there are no changes to the artistic directors, saying they can morefreely put their "personal signature" on their sections.

IndustryiteGiorgio Gosetti and former Locarno deputyTeresa Cavina will handle the competition titles, film critic Mario Sesti theactors workshop and retrospectives, editor Piera Detassis the Gala Premieresection, and Gianluca Giannelli the Alice in theCity sidebar.

Thefoundation has the support of Rome's townhall, provincial and regional offices and the chamber of commerce.

Butcreation of the foundation underlines Rome'sambitious nature and brings the debated date change for RFF back into focus. Italy'sCulture Minister Francesco Rutelli asked both Venice and Rome boardsto participate in a round table discussion about festival timings that has yetto take place.

'Wehave promised Rutelli to attend this round table, but we don't know if therewill be a change of date," Bettini said.

Bettiniclaims the rest of the year looks difficult for a Rome shift -a later date would over lap with Turin(November), December is the Christmas season, January and February would be toocold and, Berlin and Cannes dominatethe calendar from Feb-May. As for June, Bettini says slating Rome inbefore Venice would beworse for Venice.

A RFFinsider told that the date - at least for the next edition - islikely to remain the same. The Auditorium - Rome's mainmusic venue- has a tight music schedule set for three years.

'Musicschedules are very rigorous and we are not sure we can change them,' thesource said.

The firstedition of the Rome Film Fest, while successful at attracting internationalattention with glamorous stars and signature intimate press meeting betweendirectors, actors and guests, left some insiders less than happy, particularlywhere in competition titles were concerned. 'At times the press conferencefor one film overlapped with red carpets or scheduled junkets for another--something that doesn't happen at Venice,'the insider said.

Meanwhile,Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni's office released a report Thursday saying tourismin the capitol increased 17.3% during the first edition of the Rome FilmFestival.