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ROME – The International Rome Film Festival announced Tuesday that it would present a new award to DreamWorks Animation’s 3D production Rise of the Guardians, with director Peter Ramsey, executive producer Guillermo del Toro, and DreamWorks’ CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg expected to be on hand for the honor.
The honor, the Vanity Fair International Award for Cinematic Excellence, will be awarded for the first time this year at the Rome festival, under the directorship of Marco Mueller for the first time. The festival said the honor is for “a film that best expresses the innovative, artistic and strategic contribution made by production and distribution companies that have distinguished themselves in the world of contemporary cinema.”
The screening of the film — an international premiere, following the film’s world premiere next week at the Mill Valley Film Festival in California — is just the third officially announced film set to screen in Rome, and the first that is not a world premiere. Mueller, who came to Rome after eight years at the helm of the rival Venice Film Festival, has vowed to bring at least 60 world premieres to the seven-year-old Rome festival.
Rise of the Guardians is among the films named last week by The Hollywood Reporter as likely to screen at this year’s Rome festival.
In a statement, Ramsey, who will accept the award, said he and the team behind the film were “humbled by this year accolade” jointly created by Vanity Fair magazine and the Rome festival: “We are looking forward to the film making its international debut here in Rome,” Ramsey said.
The film is an epic adventure story about a group of heroes who join forced to protect the world’s children from an evil spirit known as Pitch. The film features the voices of Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, and Hugh Jackman, among others.
The Rome festival, which will take place Nov. 9-17, is scheduled to announce its full lineup Oct. 10.
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