Albuquerque - The Albuquerque office of Merrill Lynch will lend its support to the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital as a major sponsor of the 2008 Italian Film Festival. The Feb. 10-17 event will be a celebration of Italian culture and film. The second annual Festival is a fund-raiser for the Children’s Hospital and will add several new elements to the 2008 festivities.

In addition to the sixteen Italian films, the Italian Film Festival will feature two concerts and two Italian dinners.

"We are so happy and proud to be aligned with Merrill Lynch as they support the Children's Hospital and the Italian Film Festival", says Hazel Tull-Leach, VP Development for UNM Children’s Hospital. She continued, “Having community support is essential to our mission of caring for New Mexico’s critically sick and injured children.”

The 2008 Italian Film Festival will take place at three Albuquerque theaters, the KiMo, the Lobo and Guild Cinema. The major dinners will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel ballroom, on Sunday Feb. 10th and Scalo Northern Italian Grill, on Sunday Feb. 17th. Tickets and full information will soon be available on the Festival web site,

Festival Managing Director, Ronaldo Patrizio-Steiner commented on the Merrill Lynch sponsorship by saying, “It is through corporate and business support that we can create a wonderfully entertaining event for New Mexico. Having great sponsors, like Merrill Lynch, allows us to turn more money over the Children’s Hospital to continue their great work.”       

For more information on the 2008 Italian Film Festival, go to or call the Managing Director at (505) 856-2988.