Rome fest ticket sales off to a flying start

'Twiilght' world premiere sells out in a few hours

ROME -- Ticket sales for the third edition of the Rome International Film Festival opened this week with a boom, officials said Wednesday, indicating that the public has paid little interest to the political turmoil that temporarily cast the festival's future in doubt.

Sales opened Tuesday and, by the end of the day, about 10,000 tickets had been sold, 3,000 more than on the first day in 2007. That year saw a total of 110,000 tickets sold by the time the festival closed.

The world premiere of Catherine Hardwicke's romantic thriller "Twilight" was in particular demand, the festival said, with tickets gone in a few hours, prompting organizers to add a screening of the film on the festival's last day.

Question-and-answer sessions with film figures including Michael Cimino, David Cronenberg and Al Pacino -- along with a dual encounter with local stars Toni Servillo and Carlo Verdone -- also attracted intense interest, the festival said.

The Rome festival is set for Oct. 22-31.
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