Talent lines up for Roma's Extras sidebar

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ROME -- The program for the RomaCinemaFest's Extra sidebar was unveiled Wednesday, with Francis Ford Coppola, Sophia Loren, Terrence Malick, Jane Fonda, Gerard Depardieu and Bernardo Bertolucci among the A-list talent tabbed to take part in a series of on-stage conversations.

Film's screening in the documentary-focused sidebar include "In Prison My Whole Life," about former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal and narrated by Colin Firth; "Taxi to the Dark Side," about torture in Afghanistan; Uganda-based "War Dance," about children preparing for a music contest; and "New Home Movies from the Lower 9th Ward," Jonathan Demme's film about the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

The world premiere of "In Prison My Whole Life" is particularly noteworthy because it will screen at exactly the same time in both Rome and at the London Film Festival, at least momentarily sidestepping some of the acrimony between the two events whose dates coincide almost exactly.

But the lion's share of the attention on the sidebar may be focused on the personalities who have agreed to discuss their craft.

Coppola, in town for the world premiere of his "Youth Without Youth," will appear on stage during the Extras event with his wife, Eleanor, who is bringing "Coda: Thirty Years Later," a post-script to her 1991 film "Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse."

The festival is planning to get the entire Coppola family on stage, including children Sofia and Roman.

Sophia Loren, meanwhile, will be in Rome to receive the festival's lifetime achievement award, given to Sean Connery last year.

The reclusive Malick's discussion seems set to be one of the most interesting as he agreed to conduct it only under conditions that include the exclusion of the paparazzi.

Fonda's appearance is tied to a tribute to the New York Actor's Studio. She will appear on stage with fellow Actor's Studio alumni Cloris Leachman and Shirley Knight.

And Depardieu and Bertolucci will discuss Bertolucci's epic "1900," which starred Depardieu and Robert De Niro. A new director's cut of the film will screen during the festival.

The full lineup for the Oct. 18-27 RomaCinemaFest will be announced Sept. 25.
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