New Giovanni Veronesi Comedy to Open Rome Film Fest

Alessandra Mastronardi and Elio Germano in "The Fifth Wheel"

"The Fifth Wheel," a comedy starring Elio Germano as an everyman-type hero, will open the eight-year-old festival Nov. 8.

ROME – The Fifth Wheel (L'ultima ruota del carro), Giovanni Veronesi's comedy about an unlikely everyman-type hero, will premiere as the opening film of the eighth Rome Film Festival, organizers said Thursday.

The production, which stars Cannes best actor honoree Elio Germano in the main role, along with Alessandra Mastronardi and Ricky Memphis, will screen out of competition in the Santa Cecilia venue that during the festival is transformed into Rome's largest cinema.

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The film will go into wide release in Italy, from Warner Bros., Nov. 14. Fandango Sales will handle the film's international release.

Veronesi may be best known for the popular three-film Love Manual (Manuale d'amore) series, released in Italy between 2005 and 2011. The final film in the series starred Robert De Niro as an American art history professor transplanted to Rome.

The announcement of the opening film of the festival is the latest in a series of announcements about the lineup of the event, which is under the artistic direction of Marco Mueller for the second year.

The festival previously announced that the lineup would feature the latest film in the Hunger Games franchise, as well as Jonathan Demme's Fear of Falling and Tsui Hark's latest Detective Dee film -- all out of competition.

Additionally, the festival announced its first four competition titles -- the newest films from Spike Jonze, Scott Cooper, Jean-Marc Vallee and Isabel Coixet -- and said James Gray would preside over the international jury and Larry Clark would head the jury for the CinemaXXI section.

The Rome Film Festival will take place Nov. 8 to 17.


Twitter: @EricJLyman