International Rome Film Festival Announces Line-Up
The festival's competition line-up features productions or co-productions representing 15 countries.
ROME – The International Rome Film Festival on Thursday announced its full lineup featuring an in-competition lineup sprinkled with titles from around the world along with a intriguing mix of crowd-pleasing fare, films focusing on women, explorations of the worldwide economic crisis, and even a rereleased version of ground breaking 50-year-old 3D comedy from Italian icon Toto.
The Oct. 27-Nov. 4 event, now in its sixth year, will feature productions or co-productions representing 15 countries in its 15-film lineup vying for the festival’s Marcus Aurelius prize. With four films, host Italy is the best represented country in the lineup, while the U.S. is represented by a single film: the whodunit drama Magic Valley, the directorial debut from Jaffe Zinn. Most of the films in competition are European or Italian premieres.
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Though U.S. films are underrepresented in the main competition, they abound in the festival as a whole, with Steven Spielberg’s illustrated fantasy project The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn and a 15-minute sneak preview of Martin Scorsese’s Hugo Cabret both in the official selection of the Alice sidebar for family films, and Like Crazy, a story about separated lovers from Drake Doremus, and Too Big to Fail, an exploration of the fall of investment bank Lehman Brothers from Curtis Hanson, in the main selection but out of competition.
Too Big to Fail is one of the main films focusing on the economic crisis, along with L’industriale (The Industrialist) from Italy’s Giuliano Montaldo, and French film Une vie meilleure (A Better Life) from Cedric Kahn also tackling the topic. L’industriale will screen out of competition, while Une vie meilleure is among the 15 competition films.
As previously announced, Luc Besson’s The Lady, starring Michelle Yeoh as pro-democracy peace activist Aung San Suu Kyi, will be the festival’s opening film, screening out of competition. And Rome’s artistic director Piera Detassis said the film will be the headliner in a lineup celebrating female acting talent.
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Yeoh will be in Rome for the premiere, and other top-shelf female talent expected to make the walk down Rome’s red carpet includes Penelope Cruz, in town for a round table discussion; Kristin Scott Thomas for Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Women in the Fifth; Maggie Gyllenhaal, for her work in Hysteria from Tanya Wexler; and singer Olivia Newton John who will come to the festival in connection with Stephan Elliot’s comedy A Few Best Men.
Despite the focus on female talent in Rome, the festival’s honorary acting prize this year will go to Richard Gere, who will also oversee the screening of the refurbished copy of Terrence Malick’s 1978 classic Days of Heaven. It will be Gere’s second visit to the Rome festival in three years.
In the festival’s well-regarded Extra sidebar, director Michael Mann is the headline name, where he will host a master class. Other features include indy coming-of-age comedic drama Turn Me On, Goddamit from Norway’s Jannicke Systad Jacobson, Project Nim from James March, Catching Hell from Alex Gibney, and Circumstance from Iran’s Maryam Keshavarz, who explores lesbian love in modern-day Tehran.
Among the more off-beat productions in Rome this year is a freshly refurbished print of Italy’s first-ever 3D production Toto: Il piu grande spettacolo del mondo (The funniest Show on Earth) starring Italy’s best known comic actor Toto.