(VELINO) Roma, 2 Jul - The Italian diplomatic network inArgentina has kicked off a series of events to promote Italiancinema, also at a local level. The initiative, put together byItaly's motion picture association ANICA and the ItalianInstitute for Foreign Trade (ICE), is funded by the Ministry ofEconomic Development and promoted by the Italian ambassador toBuenos Aires, Teresa Castaldo. The events began in recent dayswith the first General Pico national cinema festival, organisedby the September 20 Association in partnership with the Italianconsulate general in Bahia Blanca. The festival included anItalian section with the films "In grazia di Dio" (By The Graceof God) by Edoardo Winspeare, "Che strano chiamarsi Federico"(How Strange to be Named Federico) by Ettore Scola, and "ACastle in Italy" by Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Along with thescreening of the films the programme included activities suchas conferences, master classes, tributes to leading localcultural figures, meetings with directors, and school meetings.The festival was such a success that planning is alreadyunderway for the second edition. As for the other initiatives,the programme includes a series of screenings in Bahia Blanca,put on together with the Universidad Nacional del Sur, and theprovision for free loan to the Dante Alighieri Society and theDavid Institute in Bahia Blanca of a rich and varied library ofDVDs and VHS tapes, consisting of over 700 of the mostimportant Italian films and documentaries. vel.