Rome says absence of 'W.' isn't political

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The Rome Film Festival offered a spot in its lineup to Oliver Stone's biographical satire "W.," only to have the filmmakers opt for a premiere at this year's London Film Festival, Rome's artistic director said Monday.

After a weekend of local media reports suggesting that Rome had rejected the film for political reasons, Rome's Piera Detassis spoke with The Hollywood Reporter to set the record straight.

"Yes, we wanted the film," Detassis said. "Of course we wanted it; what festival would not want the latest Oliver Stone film?"

La Repubblica reported in its Saturday editions that "W." was rejected because of the influence Italy's political right had on the festival since the election of Rome's new mayor this year — a charge Detassis and other festival officials flatly deny.

Although the election of Mayor Gianni Alemanno has resulted in changes at the festival — most notably the replacement of festival president Goffredo Bettini with critic and former Venice Film Festival director Gian Luigi Rondi — there has been no indication that politics will play a role in the selection of films.

The festival's full lineup will be announced Oct. 1, three weeks before the kickoff of the Oct. 22-31 event. The London Film Festival is set for Oct. 15-30. (partialdiff)
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