'Moonlight' to Open Rome Film Fest

Moonlight -Still 1-H 2016
Courtesy of David Bornfriend/A24

The much-buzzed-about film will kick off the festivities for the 11th edition of the festival.

The lineup for the 11th Rome Film Fest is coming into shape.

Barry Jenkins' Moonlight will open the festivities. The much-buzzed-about film is already at the center of a great deal of awards chatter.

The new film from the Medicine for Melancholy director explores the life of a young black man growing up in a rough neighborhood of Miami as he struggles to find his place in the world through topics of friends, family and love. The film stars Alex Hibbert, Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Jharrel Jermome, Ashton Sanders, Andre Holland and Janelle Monae.

Moonlight is an extraordinary film, at the same time powerful and tender, realistic and poetic. It is a great honor to open the Rome Film Fest with such a work of art,” said Rome’s artistic director Antonio Monda. “This is a film destined to go a long and successful way and which will stay in our hearts; it also confirms the great, genuine talent of Barry Jenkins.”

The film played Telluride and Toronto and will also play New York and London film festivals in the upcoming weeks before being released domestically by A24 on Oct. 21. 

Other films included in Rome this year are American Pastoral, Snowden, Captain Fantastic and Storks. The full lineup will be announced Sept. 30.