Al Pacino's star shines on at Rome fest

Lifetime achievement honoree in town as festival kicks off

ROME -- The third edition of the Rome International Film Festival kicked off Wednesday with a massive Brazil-themed party and hints from Al Pacino -- the festival's most high-profile guest -- that he might be up for making a repeat visit next year.

Pacino, in town to receive the festival's lifetime achievement award, is the subject of a major retrospective at a Rome festival that features less star power than previous editions.

During a meandering set of encounters with the press and the public, respectively, Pacino said it was "a shame" his just-completed directorial effort "Salomaybe?" -- based on a once-banned Oscar Wilde play -- could not be part of his Rome retrospective.

"I would have liked the film to come here," Pacino said, to the visible delight of Rome co-director Mario Sesti, seated next to him. "Maybe we can bring the film here next year."

The Brazil party in the city's famous Piazza Navona featured more than 40 Brazilian singers and dancers and a crowd that all but filled the biggest plaza in Rome's historical center.

Also on tap Wednesday were a pair world premieres. Monica Belluci sauntered down Rome's wide red carpet for the second consecutive year, this time accompanying Maria Sole Tognazzi's "L'Uomo che ama" (The Man Who Loves). That screening was followed by "Eight," an eight-part project from directors including Jane Campion, Gus Van Sant and Wim Wenders.