Rome Film Fest: Wes Anderson, Frances McDormand and Joel Coen Join Lineup

Wes Anderson - H - 2015
Associated Press

Rome Film Fest puts the focus back on high-profile public conversations.

The Rome Film Festival in its 10th year is undertaking another major rebranding, calling itself La Festa del Cinema di Roma.

By expanding the festival market, organizers are hoping to bring in more players from around Europe and beyond. 

Last year’s fest also focused on the idea of the festival as a party, but ultimately failed to increase much-needed ticket sales. Fondazione Cinema per Roma president Piera Detassis and new artistic director Antonio Monda have their work cut out for them.

Monda is starting with what he does best, by tapping his connections and organizing a series of high-profile talks with the public: Husband and wife Joel Coen and Frances McDormand will discuss their frequent professional collaborations; Wes Anderson will go in-depth into his great love of Italian cinema; Paolo Sorrentino will debut a previously unseen short and discuss his cinematic influences. Other guests signed up for public talks include director William Friedkin, architect Renzo Piano, and actors Carlo Verdone and Paola Cortellesi.

Monda previously curated a conversation series at Rome Film Festival in its early years, which featured directors including Francis Ford Coppola, Spike Lee, David Lynch, Sydney Pollack and Terrence Malick’s only public appearance.

There will be 35 films in the official selection. New York Film Festival vet Richard Pena has signed up to help curate. While there is no competition this year, the fest is keeping its audience award. An Alice in the City sidebar will include up to 14 films aimed at kids and teens.

The fest will also include a retrospective of the works of Antonio Pietrangeli, in collaboration with the Istituto Luce Cinecitta and MoMA, which will present the films in November. And, 40 years after his tragic death, Pier Paolo Pasolini will receive a tribute in the city he made his home.

Rome Film Festival runs Oct. 16-24.