'Watergate' Series, Jonathan Safran Foer, Thierry Fremaux Join Rome Film Fest Lineup

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Richard Nixon

The Italian festival has a history of shining a spotlight on American politics under artistic director Antonio Monda.

This fall's Rome Film Fest is already filling out its lineup.

The Italian festival is set to broadcast the entire History Channel docuseries Watergate from Oscar winner Charles Ferguson (Inside Job).

The 1972 scandal that brought down then-President Richard Nixon has become increasingly relevant as questions on the legalities of how Donald Trump came to office continue to plague the current administration. The Rome Film Fest under artistic director Antonio Monda has taken a great interest in American politics. The 2016 edition included a retrospective of American presidential films.

Also announced: Jonathan Safran Foer, best-selling author of Everything Is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, will participate in one of the festival's Close Encounter talks with the audience. He will discuss his relationship with literature and cinema. 

And Cannes chief Thierry Fremaux will also sit down with Monda to discuss the current meaning of the film festival and its possible evolution. 

This year's festival will also remember the anniversary of "Black Saturday," the Raid of the Ghetto of Rome when more than 1,000 members of the city's Jewish community were captured by the Gestapo and deported to Auschwitz. The fest will screen a series of documentaries including Rome, October 16, 1943, by Ruggero Gabbai, which recounts painful witness testimonies from this day, and Roberta Grossman's Who Will Write Our History, produced by Nancy Spielberg and based on the story of historian Emanuel Ringelblum, who created a secret archive inside the Warsaw ghetto. 

Additionally, the festival will pay tribute to Claude Lanzmann's seminal film Sobibor – October 14, 1943, 16.00. "Cinema is also a memory, respect, testimony," said Monda. "I am particularly proud to remember one of the most tragic moments of the 20th century in a special program of the film festival."

As previously announced, both Martin Scorsese and Isabelle Huppert will receive lifetime achievement awards at the upcoming festival. 

The 13th Rome Film Fest is set to run Oct. 18-28. The full lineup will be announced Oct. 5.