The Rome Film Festival has unveiled its first line-up under the new management team of former Rai executive Paola Malanga as artistic director and Cineteca di Bologna director Gian Luca Farinelli as president, who were both appointed to their roles last March.
“Putting together a festival in five months was a big challenge. If we succeeded its thanks to the extraordinary team and the institutions,” Farinelli said at a news conference in Rome on Thursday.
The festival’s 17th edition, October 13-23, will host 130 titles on 28 screens across the Italian capital.
Highlights include a career tribute for James Ivory and the launch of an international competition strand under the banner “Progressive Cinema – Visions Of Tomorrow’s World”, showcasing 16 new films.
“We tried to bring recognition to the festival on the international scene… guided by a simple polar star. The festival is not Cannes, Venice or Berlin. So what is it?” said Farinelli.
“It’s a pluralist, international festival, which is also a party for Rome. The title of the competition is not by chance. The committee has looked for independent, international cinema, by new auteurs, who tomorrow will perhaps be at Cannes, Venice and Berlin.”
The inaugural competition line-up comprises Firas Khoury’s Alam (Palestine), Pavel Giroud’s El Caso Padilla (Cuba), Lila Neugebauer’s Jennifer Lawrence-produced Causeway (U.S). Francesco Patierno’s La Cura (Italy), Carmen Jaquier’s Thunder (Switzerland), Mounia Meddour’s Houria (Algeria), Aerun Goette’s In A Land That No Longer Exists (Germany), Jeon Ji-Hye ‘s Jeong-Sun (Korea), Wang Xiaoshuai’s The Hotel (China), Fabrizio Ferraro’s I Morti Rimango Con La Bocca Aperta (Italy), Andrea Bagney’s Ramona (Spain), Rodrigo Garcia’s Alfonse Cuaron-produced Raymond and Ray (U.S), Zachary Wigon’s Sanctuary (U.S.), Ady Walters’ Shttl (Ukraine) and Guillame Nicloux’s Lockdown Tower (France).
The new competition will be judged by an international jury that has yet to be announced, which will mete out prizes for best film, a jury prize as well as for best director and screenplay and the Monica Vitti award for best actress and Vittorio Gassman prize for best actor.
In other highlights, Oscar-winning American director Ivory will be feted with a career prize on the opening night and will also present a screening of his new documentary A Cooler Climate, created from footage he shot during a life-changing trip to Afghanistan in 1960.
Non-competitive strands include Grand Public, Special Screening and Best of 2022. The Grand Public line-up features Italian previews for TIFF breakout Bros, Amsterdam and The Hummingbird, which opens the festival.
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