Rome Film Fest Unveils Opening Film For CinemaXXI Section

Vincenzo Marra on the set of "L'amminstratore"

Continuing to release lineup selections in drips and drabs, the 8-year-old event also named the first film from the Italian documentary sidebar.

ROME -- L'amministratore, a documentary about the daily life of a Naples building administrator from award-winning director Vincenzo Marra will be the opening film of the Rome Film Festival's CinemaXXI section for new trends in cinema, festival organizers said Friday.

The 8-year-old festival also announced that Lettera al Presidente from Marco Santarelli, which uses letters to Italy's president to study Italy's post-World War II history, would open the competition in the Prospettive Doc Italia section.

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Marra, himself a native of Naples, is a celebrated documentary maker with previous successes from the critics' week sidebars in Cannes and Venice, as well as from the Turin Film Festival and Italy's David di Donatello honors, Nastri d'Argento (Silver Ribbons) awards, and the Globi d'Oro, Italy's Golden Globes. He said the story of the administrator, Umberto Montella, was a way to "talk about contemporary Italy, starting with Naples."

For its part, the festival said Marra has one of the most "mobile and restless visions in contemporary Italian cinema."

Prospettive Doc Italia, meanwhile, focuses on trends in contemporary Italian documentary making. The festival called Lettera al Presidente "a journey through the collective imagination of a country."

With the announcement, the festival continued its unusual tact of revealing film titles that will screen at the Nov. 8-17 event individually or in small groups, rather than saving much of the news for a single big unveiling.

Before this, organizers have already said the festival would open with Giovanni Veronesi's comedy The Fifth Wheel (L'ultima ruota del carro) and also include the new Hunger Games film and the second Detective Dee production from Hong Kong's Tsui Hark, along with Fear of Falling, Jonathan Demme's first feature film in five years. They also announced the first four competition titles.

Twitter: @EricJLyman