RomaCinemaFest adds an extra day

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ROME -- The RomaCinemaFest will be one day longer this year than in its inaugural edition in 2006 and its trademark citizens' jury will have a more European flavor than it did the first time around, according to information released by the festival Monday.

The event will last from Oct. 18-27 -- 10 days total -- one day longer than last year's Oct. 13-21 schedule.

The choice of slightly later dates increases the distance between the Rome event and Italy's Aug. 29-Sept. 8 Venice Film Festival -- a major point of contention between the two events. But it also puts the Rome festival in almost direct conflict with the Oct. 17-Nov. 1 London Film Festival and the Oct. 20-28 Tokyo Film Festival, both of which overlapped with Rome to a far lesser degree last year.

The RomaCinemaFest also said it would stick with its unusual policy of having its prizes for Best Film and Best Actor and Actress decided by a 50-member citizen's jury rather than by a smaller cast of industry insiders. But rather than being an entirely Italian jury as in 2006, this year's jury will include 20 non-Italian Europeans.

The longer time frame reflects the popularity of the first edition of the RomaCinemaFest, organizers said. In January, officials said that the festival's unusual market -- The Business Street -- would also add an extra day, increasing to four days from three.

It remains to be seen how much the overlap between Rome, London, and Tokyo will affect each festival. Rome and Venice traded blows last year because Rome set its date at only five weeks after Venice closed, but both festivals appear to have called a truce now with a nearly six-week span between them.
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