Rome Film Festival unveils 2008 edition

Category: RockNRolla News | Posted by: admin
Article Date: October 1, 2008 | Publication: Film Festival Tracker | Author: Editors
Publication/Article Link:Film Festival Tracker

After the first two editions, which were a runaway hit with festival audiences, the International Rome Film Festival returns from October 22nd to 31st, 2008, with a rich offering of films, retrospectives, encounters, exhibitions, and concerts, with major Italian and international stars in attendance.

Underlying the festival in its third year is once more the winning combination of popular appeal and the cultural excellence of the program of quality cinema and an exciting blend of the other arts. It’s a recipe for success guaranteed to draw diehard film aficionados and first-time festival-goers to the same event.

The entire city of Rome serves as a spectacular ‘film set’ backdrop for the festival itself, whose nerve center is once more the Auditorium Parco della Musica – designed by Renzo piano – and the neighboring Cinema Village.

Gian Luigi Rondi is the President of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma and Francesca Via is the General Director. The General Coordinator of the sections making up the Rome Film Festival is Piera Detassis; the artistic directors of the event are Teresa Cavina (Cinema 2008 and Fabbrica dei Progetti | New Cinema Network), Piera Detassis (Anteprima | Première), Gianluca Giannelli (Alice nella città | Alice in the City), Giorgio Gosetti (Cinema 2008 and Mercato Internazionale del Film | The Business Street), Gaia Morrione (Occhio sul Mondo | Focus), and Mario Sesti (L’Altro Cinema | Extra).

The biggest stars of the festival’s third edition are the films themselves. Two world premieres will open and close the event. Kicking off the festival will be a film in competition, L’uomo che ama by Maria Sole Tognazzi, starring Monica Bellucci, Pierfrancesco Favino, Ksenia Rappoport and Piera Degli Esposti.

The closing film will be shown immediately after the awards ceremony: L’ultimo Pulcinella, starring Massimo Ranieri, directed by Maurizio Scaparro and based on his renowned play, itself inspired by an idea of Roberto Rossellini’s.

The Official Selection brings together the works in the competitive section, Cinema 2008, and the films in and out of competition in the Anteprima | Première section, which this year is showcasing The Duchess by Saul Dibb, starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes, and Uli Edel’s The Baader Meinhof Complex, while Cinema 2008 is hosting the film 8/Huit/Eight, inspired by the eight Millennium Goals drawn up by the United Nations in September 2000 to improve the lives of the world population. Divided into eight segments, this collective work will have its world premiere in Rome, with all eight participating filmmakers in attendance: Jane Campion,Gael García Bernal, Jan Kounen, Mira Nair,Gaspar Noé, Abderrahmane Sissako,Gus Van Sant and Wim Wenders.

But big productions from Europe, the Americas, and beyond will certainly make their presence felt, among them Pride and Glory by Gavin O’Connor (with a stellar cast featuring Edward Norton, Colin Farrell, and Jon Voight); Easy Virtue by Stephan Elliott, starring Jessica Biel; Parlez-moi de la pluie by Agnès Jaoui; and Goodby Vicente Amorim, starring Viggo Mortensen. And Mortensen receives a festival tribute in the form of a special screening of Ed Harris’ Appaloosa, (in which the actor stars with Renée Zellweger and Jeremy Irons), along with a conversation with the festival audience during which he will discuss his many-sided artistic personality, showing clips from his films, and playing music he has composed himself.

In the Official Selection there are also: Aide toi et le ciel t’aidera, by François Dupeyron, France, 2008, 92’,Cast: Félicité Wouassi, Claude Rich; El artista, by Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn, Argentina- Italy, 2008, 90’, Cast: Sergio Pangaro, Alberto Laiseca; Baksy by Guka Omarova, Kazakhstan, Russia - Germany, 2008, 87’, Cast: Nesipkul Omarbekova, Farkhat Amankulov; Un Barrage contre le Pacifique by Rithy Panh, Cambodia, France – Belgium, 2008, 115’, Cast: Isabelle Huppert, Gaspard Ulliel, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey; Cliente by Josiane Balasko, France, 2008, 104’, Cast: Nathalie Baye, Josiane Balasko, Eric Caravaca; A Corte do Norte, Portugal, 2008, 122’, Cast: Ana Moreira, Rogério Samara, Ricardo Aibéo; Iri by Zhang Lu, South Korea, 2008, 107’, Cast: Yoon Jin-seo, Eum Tae-Woong; Opium War by Siddiq Barmak, Afghanistan – Japan – South Korea - France, 2008, 90’, Cast: Joe Suba, Peter Bussian; Le Plaisirde chanter by Ilan Duran Cohen, France, 2008, 98’, Cast: Jeanne Balibar, Marina Fois, Lòrant Deutsch; Resolution 819 by Giacomo Battiato, France – Poland - Italy, 2008, 95’, Cast: Benoît Magimel, Hyppolite Girardot, Karolina Gruszka; SchattenweltTwilight by Catherine Hardwicke, USA, Cast: Robert Pattison, Kristen Stewart (World premiere of roughly 15’ of the film and the backstage footage.The event includes the public encounter with the director and the film’s stars, plus a reading of passages from the new book by Stephenie Meyer); High School Musical 3by Kenny Ortega, USA, 2008,100’, Cast: Zac Efron, Vanessa Ann Hudgens, Ashley Tisdale.

Among the Special Screenings:The Garden of Eden (UK), di John Irvin, Cast: Mena Suvari, Jack Huston, Caterina Murino, Carmen Maura, Richard E. Grant, Matthew Modine, Mathias Palsvig, and RockNrolla (US) by Guy Ritchie, Cast: Gerard Butler, Thandie Newton, Tom Wilkinson, Ludacris.


Out of the 20 films in competition in the Official Selection, Italian cinema is represented byGalantuominiby Edoardo Winspeare, Un gioco da ragazze by Matteo Rovere, Parlami di meby Brando De Sica and Il passato è una terra straniera by Daniele Vicari, as well as the above-mentioned L’Uomo che ama by Maria Sole Tognazzi.

The L’Altro Cinema | EXTRA section serves up groundbreaking premieres, encounters with film personalities along with film “classes” given by these special guests, numerous tributes, an exhibition and a showcase of emerging young Roman filmmakers experimenting with the documentary form.

The Occhio sul Mondo | FOCUS section is dedicated to Brazil this year, with an array of premieres, a retrospective, an exhibition, and a number of concerts and encounters with the nation’s artists.

The Alice nella città | Alice in the City section features 12 works in competition, including La Siciliana Ribelleby Marco Amenta (with Gérard Jugnot, Veronica D’Agostino, Marcello Mazzarella, and Paolo Briguglia); Pinocchio (with an A-list cast made up of Violante Placido, Margherita Buy, Bob Hoskins as Geppetto, a surprising Luciana Litizzetto as Jiminy Cricket, and Alessandro Gassman as author Collodi); as well as LOLLa Boum. In addition, the section has joined with the Fondazione Cineteca Italiana to present a tribute to Italian animation, with short films and features made by the leading exponents of Italian animation: Bruno Bozzetto, Giulio Gianini and Emanuele Luzzati, Leo Lionni, and Toni and Nino Pagot.

And this year Via Veneto continues to host the Mercato Internazionale del Film | The Business Street, the bustling Roman film market for buyers and sellers packed with the latest productions coming up in the industry.

Highlights of the Fabbrica dei progetti | New Cinema Network, the International Rome Festival programme dedicated to supporting independent film production, include projects by three young Italian filmmakers: Colpa (Guilt) by Toni D’Angelo, Shun Lee e il poeta (Shun Lee and the Poet) by Andrea Segre and Arabi danzanti (Dancing Arabs) by Ruggero Gabbai.

The General Assembly on Italian cinema is an important event on the programme of the Festival’s third edition. The result of a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture and the National Film Board, the Assembly will convene from October 27th to 30th with the aim of drawing up guidelines for re-launching the Italian film industry, to submit to the government, in a combined effort between film professionals and all those involved in the cinema industry, as well as representatives from the business world and government institutions.

This year there will be two Golden Marc’Aurelio Acting Awards. One will be bestowed on the Actors Studio, being collected by Al Pacino, one of the organization’s distinguished presidents. The other will be assigned to Gina Lollobrigida, for her significant contribution to Italian cinema over the course of a career spanning six decades.

The Festival is putting on five exhibitions in 2008. The L’Altro Cinema | Extra section is hosting CHROMOSOMES. Cronenberg oltre il cinema, a joint collaboration between the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, the International Rome Film Festival, the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, and Volumina. The exhibition assembles 50 images selected and re-elaborated by the master filmmaker himself, using stills from his most famous films.

And in another first for Italy, the L’Occhio sul Mondo | Focus section hosts a photographic exhibition entirely devoted to the work of Pierre Verger (1902-1996), in collaboration with the Pierre Verger Foundation in Salvador de Bahia.

Closer to home, with the third exhibition, the Rome Film Festival focuses on a momentous year for Italian history and for Italian cinema: “C’era una volta il ‘48” (Once Upon a Time in 1948), curated by film critic and historian Orio Caldiron, will be inaugurated by the President Emeritus of the Italian Republic, Oscar Luigi Scalfaro. The exhibition reconstructs the film history of that crucial year: the emergence of major actors and directors, the birth of new genres and the revival of old ones, the personal dynamics on the set, and cinema’s relationship to the most important events in Italian political history, like the signing of its constitution by Connie Walter, Germany, 2008, 92’, Cast: Franziska Petri, Ulrich Noethen, Eva Mattes; by Lisa Azuelos with Sophie Marceau, unforgettable star of

The last two exhibitions are “Cento immagini di Dino Risi” – curated by Reporters Associati – with which the Rome Film Festival pays homage to the late, great Dino Risi; and an exhibition of original illustrations by master cartoonist Cavazzano, organised by the weekly Mickey Mouse comic book “Topolino”, to celebrate the famous cartoon parodies of the films in cinema’s hall of fame.

A spectacular free opening event for the public, entitled Be Brazilian and held in Piazza Navona, will kick off the third edition of the Festival. A cast of over forty artists, musicians, and dancers will put on the show of a lifetime, inspired by the carnival traditions of the Afro Blocos from Brazil’s Northeast and the melodic harmonies of Brazilian popular music. Brilliant, eclectic musician Arto Lindsay will be directing the evening’s entertainment, and Ernesto Neto, a world-class star of the contemporary art scene, is the design director; while Gal Costa is putting in a guest appearance. Altogether, along with the marching bands Ilê Aiyê and Spok Frevo Orchestra, the performers will treat Romans to an unforgettable autumn carnival.

The Festival in figures: 150 feature films, of which 20 in competition and 6 shown out of competition in the Official Selection, 7 Special Screenings, 2 joint events involving Anteprima | Première and Alice nella città, 13 films and 5 literary encounters in the Alice nella città section, 36 films and documentaries, 5 encounters and 5 tributes in the L’Altro Cinema | Extra section, 13 films in the Actors Studio retrospective, 26 projects programmed for Fabbrica dei Progetti | New Cinema Network, 22 films, including premieres and those in the retrospective, for the L’Occhio sul Mondo | Focus section, 14 films screened with Fabbrica dei Progetti | New Cinema Network, 5 exhibitions, 8 official prizes and 9 collateral prizes, 7 theatres set up in the Cinema Village.