Jonathan Demme's 'Fear of Falling' to Debut at Rome Film Fest

Jonathan Demme - P 2012
Bob Vergara

The movie was adapted from a Henrik Ibsen play by writer and actor Wallace Shawn, who plays the main character.

ROME -- Fear of Falling, the latest project from Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme, will premiere at the 8th International Rome Film Festival, officials announced Tuesday.

Fear of Falling is an adaptation of The Master Builder, the biting 19th century critique of the pursuit of wealth by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, which was written for the big screen by character actor Wallace Shawn, who also plays the lead in the film.

The drama is Demme's first feature film since Rachel Getting Married five years ago.

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The world premiere, which will be in Rome’s CinemaXXI section for new trends in cinema, will represent the first appearance at the Rome fest for Demme, who won a best director Oscar in 1991 for Silence of the Lambs. Demme also is scheduled to participate in a master class, organizers said.

Shawn will be on hand for the premiere, the festival said.

The announcement about Fear of Falling is the first indication of the lineup for this year’s Rome festival, which will take place Nov. 8-17. Festival president Paolo Ferrari, the former head of Warner Bros.-Italia, is heading the event along with artistic director Marco Mueller (as he did in Venice).

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The CinemaXXI section is a play on words between the Roman numerals for 21 -- representing the 21st century -- and Rome’s Maxxi Museum of 21st Century Art, which hosts most of the section's screenings and events.

The Maxxi is set to announce its own separate schedule of cinema-related events -- called the Cinema at Maxxi -- curated by Mario Sesti, one of the Rome festival’s co-founders, on Thursday. Cinema at Maxxi is run under the auspices of the Foundation for Cinema in Rome, the Rome festival’s parent organization.

Twitter: @EricJLyman