Cinema is for all, belongs to all. Gian Luigi Rondi would say that to his co-worker Piera Detassis on a daily basis and now that he is no longer among us, Detassis has taken upon herself the role as president of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma (Rome Cinema Foundation), and through her those words still resonate throughout the 11th edition of the Rome Film Fest (Oct. 13/23). The suburbs gain a central role thanks to the display of events around the city. Along with MAXXI and the Casa del Cinema, two big initiatives promoted by art director Antonio Monda, the program includes: an exposition about emigration at the Scuola di Donato (Oct. 17/22), and a Drive-in cinema, created by Mazda at the Eur, that will air spectacular motion pictures.
The international conference of critics on the modern role of cinema is also a new addition to the festival. For the first time critics from the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times are going to participate to the festival (“A reflection on its actual power, which stretches beyond cinema onto our very relationship with the media” as Monda declared)
The main objective of all people involved in the Fest is for it to stand out against all other international festivals. Rome is not going to be simply a display of films, but the stage for dialogue and communication during a week where art will be tracing a red thread that unifies several sectors. So we will see again the Incontri Ravvicinati (Close Encounters), where Italian and international artists will reveal when and how cinema made an impression on their lives. Don De Lillo is going to narrate his love for Michelangelo Antonioni, then Meryl Streep, prestigious admirer of actresses Silvana Mangano and Anna Magnani (featuring as guests: Jovanotti, Bernardo Bertolucci, Tom Hanks, Oliver Stone, Daniel Libeskid).
Back in schedule Alice in the City, the independent section dedicated to the 12 works of the Young/Adult Contest, 3 films out of competition, 3 co-productions with the Film Fest and 2 special events. The jury will assign first and second place, headed by actor Matt Dillon and featuring producer Camilla Nesbitt, actress Anna Foglietta, directors Gabriele Mainetti and Claudio Giovannesi, and screenplay writers Giordano Meacci and Francesca Serafini.
Since Dec. 11 2015 Rome has been recognized as City of Film, adding it to the UNESCO Network of Creative Cities, which counts 116 cities across 54 nations. The goal is to develop a four-year Plan of Action that involves private and public authorities in the cinema and TV sector of Rome. Part of the proceeds will be devolved to the project IO CI SONO, launched by actors, film makers and musicians to build a multifunctional building for Sorriso in Amatrice, the town recently hit by the earthquake.
Here are the numbers:
44 films and documentaries in the Official Selection;
4 special events;
3 retrospectives/10 homages;
11 documentaries along the line of the Riflessi program/7 films of our life;
16 more Fest events;
26 participating Nations in the Official Selection: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, China, South Korea, France, Germany, Japan, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxemburg, Mexico, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Peru, Poland, UK, Spain, USA, Switzerland.
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