Rome Film Fest: Cannes Regular James Gray to Head Competition Jury

James Gray - H 2013
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James Gray - H 2013

The eighth edition of the Rome event, which will take place in November, also named Larry Clark to head of the jury in the CinemaXXI section.

ROME – The International Rome Film Festival announced that acclaimed director and photographer James Gray would head the international jury for the 8th edition of the event, while the jury for the CinemaXXI sidebar will be headed by writer and director Larry Clark.

Four of Gray’s five completed films have earned Cannes Palme d’Or nominations, most recently with The Immigrant earlier this year. The fifth, his directorial debut and noir thriller Little Odessa, won a Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival in 1994.

Marco Mueller, the former Locarno and Venice artistic director now in his second year at the Rome event, praised Gray’s talents as displayed over his 25-year career.

“James Gray’s modern cinema is the product of his capacity to go back to the basics of filmmaking,” Mueller said. “In five films he has succeeded in building a strong and coherent body of work, [and] he has traced an extremely personal path through the many production modes of American cinema.”

The seven-person jury Gary will preside over will award the prizes for best film, best director, the acting awards, and a special jury prize, among others.

Clark is a Rome veteran: his experimental drama Marfa Girl won the Rome Film Festival’s Golden Marc’Aurelio prize, the festival’s highest honor. The festival’s statement called him “one of the most important directors and artists of the past 50 years.”

The CinemaXXI section Clark will oversee is dedicated to new trends in filmmaking.

With the selection of Gray and Clark to head the two juries, the next edition of the Rome festival is starting to take shape. Organizers announced last week that Jonathan Demme’s lastest, Fear of Falling, would premiere at the Nov. 8-17 festival. The full lineup is scheduled to be announced next month.

Twitter: @EricJLyman