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ROME — The International Rome Film Festival’s Business Street event wrapped up Monday with indicators mostly stronger than in previous years, while the rain-drenched festival itself was abuzz with Monday’s arrival of rocker Bruce Springsteen and the Italian premiere of The Social Network.
The Business Street, the informal Rome market that takes place in a series of hotels along Rome’s famous Via Veneto, reported Monday that it issued 792 total credentials, including 309 buyers, 187 of them from outside Italy, and a total of 103 sellers. All of those figures were slightly better than last year. The total number of countries represented and the total number of screenings were slightly lower than a year ago.
Sylvain Auzou, international manager for The Business Street, said he was encouraged that the event was so well attended considering that the festival’s date change this year brought The Business Street’s dates right to the start of the American Film Market in California, which gets underway Wednesday, and to the market at the Tokyo Film Festival, which concluded Sunday.
“We’re very happy with the interest shown this year,” Auzou said in an interview. “We had many new buyers from Latin America, despite the proximity with AFM, and around the same number as last year or perhaps a few more from Asia despite Tokyo. I think this is very important.”
Springsteen was in town in connection with The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, directed by Thom Zimmy. The documentary, which is screening in the festival’s Extra sidebar, tells the story of the making of Springsteen’s 1978 follow up to the highly successful Born to Run album two years earlier.
The Social Network screening and press briefing Monday garnered attention, especially after Jesse Eisenberg, who plays Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the film, told reporters he is not a Facebook user.
“I do not use Facebook, though I did try it for two weeks while we were rehearsing the movie so I could understand what my character built,” Eisenberg.
The out-of-competition film, which is directed by David Fincher, has had strong box office results in most countries where it has already opened. It will open in Italy Nov. 11.
Also on Monday, Iranian director Hossein Kershavarz, in Rome with Dog Sweat, the story of six Iranian youngsters rebelling against their society, and Jim Loach, at the festival with Oranges and Sunshine, which recounts the tale of the social workers who uncovered the scandal of children deported to Australia from the U.K., both made their feature film debuts.
Over the weekend, the festival screened the full restored copy of Federico Fellini’s classic La Dolce Vita, which was presented to movie goers by Martin Scorsese. The screening coincided with the 50th anniversary of the acclaimed film.
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