Rome fest getting head start


ROME -- The third installment of the RomaCinemaFest will begin Oct. 2, about 16 days earlier than the 2007 edition's opening date and far closer to the end of the Venice Film festival.

When the Rome festival was launched in 2006, Venice officials complained that the dates of the two events were too close together. In a compromise, Rome agreed to push its start date back five days in 2007. But the 2008 Rome dates -- the festival will run Oct. 2-12 -- eliminates those five days and 11 more besides.

That likely means Rome's start will be closer than ever to the close of the Venice event, which will hold its 65th edition in 2008.

The dates for next year's Venice festival have not yet been announced, but the festival in recent years has finished in the first half of September. In 2007, for instance, the closing date was Sept. 8.

Venice officials were not immediately available to comment on the new Rome dates.

Even if the RomaCinemaFest's new spot on the calendar proves unwelcome in Venice, it could be good news for the Turin Film Festival, which closed its 25th anniversary edition Dec. 1.

Turin's first-year artistic director, Nanni Moretti, complained aggressively and often this year that the short time span between Rome and Turin made scheduling more difficult for his festival.