Rome fest a bit longer, a bit later than last year

New dates bump with London, Tokyo

The RomaCinemaFest will be one day longer this year than in its inaugural edition in 2006, and its trademark citizens' jury will have a more European flavor than it did the first time around, it was announced Monday.

The event will run Oct. 18-27 — 10 days total and one day longer than last year's Oct. 13-21 time frame.

The choice of later dates increases the time between the Rome event and Italy's Aug. 29-Sept. 8 Venice Film Festival — a major point of contention between the events. But it also puts the Rome festival in almost direct conflict with the Oct. 17-Nov. 1 London Film Festival and the Oct. 20-28 Tokyo Film Festival, both of which overlapped with Rome to a far lesser degree last year.

The RomaCinemaFest also said it would stick with its policy of having its prizes for best film and best actor and actress decided by a 50-member citizens' jury rather than by a smaller cast of industry insiders. But rather than being an entirely Italian jury as in 2006, this year's panel will include 20 non-Italian Europeans.

The longer time frame reflects the popularity of the first edition of the RomaCinemaFest, organizers said. In January, officials said that the festival's market — the Business Street — would also add an extra day, increasing to four days from three.

It remains to be seen how much the overlap between Rome, London and Tokyo will affect each festival. Rome and Venice traded blows last year because Rome set its date at only five weeks after Venice closed, but both festivals appear to have called a truce, with a nearly six-week span now between them.