Screenings pick up as Rome winds down

Festival's Marcus Aurelius prize to be chosen from 20 films

ROME -- The Rome International Film Festival started to wind down under cloudy skies Thursday, with a lineup that included screenings of seven competition films and a well-received Italian comedy.

Cloudy skies and periodic rain had become the norm during the past four days at the festival, which concludes with a gala award ceremony Friday. The winner of the festival's Marcus Aurelius prize, which will be selected by a jury of audience members, will pick from 20 competition films in two sections.

Seven of those films screened Thursday -- the most dense competition screening day of the festival. But the day's lineup was highlighted by the world premiere of Giulio Manfredonia's out-of-competition comedy "Si puo fare" (We can do that), one of the best-received Italian films in the official selection.

The State of the Cinema Industry series of discussions also concluded Thursday with a discussion of the problem of piracy in Italy, with most speakers urging the government and industry to do more to curb the phenomenon.

The series, which also included sessions on authors' rights and a discussion of new norms aimed at encouraging growth of the industry, was declared a success by festival president Gian Luigi Rondi, who called them a "strong sign of the film industry's rebirth."