'Rino' kicks off Rome TV fest


The first RomaFictionFest got under way Monday with the world premiere of "Rino Gaetano," Marco Turco's 189-minute drama about the death of the adored Italian folk singer, and a gala party at an ancient castle that drew top officials from the Italian film industry and government.

The freshman edition of the festival will hit its full stride later in the week with a program that includes the world premiere of a €30 million ($40.5 million), 400-minute adaptation of Leo Tolstoy's "War & Peace" starring Malcolm McDowell; the world premiere of "L'Ultimo Padrino" (The Last Godfather), about the true life story of captured mob boss Bernardo Provenzano; and the European premiere of Angelo Longoni's "Caravaggio," about the life of the Renaissance master painter.

The festival — which concludes Saturday — includes the European premieres of several top U.S. television series such as "Lost" and "Grey's Anatomy" in a jam-packed program that focuses on TV fiction programming.

The inaugural party for the event took place at the Roman-era Castel Sant'Angelo, which hosted representatives of Italy's main broadcasters, several film production houses and members of the political elite.