Matthew Modine to Head Rome Fest Jury for Best First or Second Film

Matthew Modine 2012
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The five-person jury representing four different countries will select the winner from any of the festival's four principle sections.

ROME – Actor, director, and producer Matthew Modine will head the jury that will select the Best Debut and Second Film Award at the upcoming International Rome Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

The five-person jury will select one film from among those in the main international competition, or the CinemaXXI sidebar that focuses on trends in cinema, the Prospective Italy section for Italian films, or the Alice in the City autonomous sidebar for films aimed at young audiences, that is either the freshman or sophomore effort from that director.

“Offering new directors an opportunity means … taking into consideration the most noteworthy debuts and … assessing whether style and originality is confirmed, something that only a second work can reveal,” Rome’s new artistic director Marco Mueller said in a statement. “That is why we thought it important to extend our award to the Best Debut and Second Film.”

Modine is probably best known as an actor, where he has had a role in nearly 80 films and television series, including Stanley Kubrik’s Full Metal Jacket, Michael Caton-JonesMemphis Belle, The Dark Knight Rises from the Batman franchise from Christopher Nolan, and Too Big to Fail from Curtis Hanson, which had its Italian premiere at last year’s Rome festival.

Joining Modine on the jury will be director and screenwriter Laura Amelia Guzman from the Dominican Republic, Italian actress and producer Stefania Rocca, Italian director Alice Rohrwacher, and British producer Tanya Seghatchain.

This is the third jury selection named by the seven-year-old festival. Previously, it announced Scottish visual artist Douglas Gordon would head the jury for CinemaXII, while Italian filmmaker Francesco Bruni would head the Prospective Italy jury. But the other members of those two juries, plus the makeup of the main competition jury and most of the lineup have yet to be announced.

The lineup announcement is scheduled for next Wednesday; the festival itself will take place Nov. 9-17.