(AGI) London, Oct 6 - This week marks the first anniversary of"Cinema Italia UK", the preview showing of Italian films thathas virtually become a permanent festival, held beneath Big Benon the banks of the River Thames. It screens works of Italiancinema not yet released in the United Kingdom. The challengewas not easy to meet but it turned out to be a real success andis now repeated every two weeks. The event is supported byprivate sponsors and the Italian Consulate General in London,under Consul Massimiliano Mazzanti, and the Italian CulturalInstitute, direction of which was recently taken over by MarcoDelogu, a photographer born in Sardinia. Every two weekstherefore (but quite often more frequently during specialevents), London hosts celebrated actors and film directors, whovisit the English capital to meet with an Italian film-lovingpublic. The British market is important in view of the evergrowing Italian community in the country, although its size isdifficult to quantify. Non-official estimates count 300,000Italians in London alone, in addition to all the Italiansliving in other parts of the UK. Even if Cinema Italia UKscreens films in Italian with English subtitles, it alsotargets native Britons and all those wanting to discover one ofItaly's best artistic expressions, even if they do not speakthe language. The event was first launched in 2014, promoted byClara Caleo Green, a long-time resident in London, and herenthusiastic group of supporters, mainly made up of women. Themain venue is the Genesis Cinema, located in the multi-culturalEast End of London, although some of the screenings areprojected at the Regent Street Cinema, a Jewish cultural centrein western London, only a short distance from the centralOxford Circus. The films screened during the last 12 monthstotaled 18, with an average audience of 200 spectators, peakingat 400. The festival's guest stars during the last 12 monthshave been numerous and have included Paola Cortellesi,Francesca Archibugi, Annalisa Piras and Roberto Ando'. For thefestival's first anniversary, the indefatigable director MsCaleo Green stated clearly: "We hope to be able to continue atthe same pace in future, at other theatres in London and inother parts of the United Kingdom; it is undoubtedly anambitious programme, but far from impossible." (AGI) . .