ROME/THE FESTIVAL, THE MARKET, THE CITY

Surrounded by a flurry of controversy in the daily press throughout its preparation, the seventh edition of the Rome Film Festival – or maybe it would be better to say the first of the Müller era – arrived on the red carpet with a bill that surprised those who were expecting the new director to offer a display of stars – possibly due to the similarly unexpected publicity. In fact, the choice to use relatively unknown movies and filmmakers and to privilege world premieres gave
greater dynamism to the Market area – The Business Street – where buyers had more
opportunities to discover new products and buy the rights to the same.
In my opinion the Rome Film Festival will achieve the best results not through glamour and the star system, but by playing on two complementary factors.
The market is obviously advantaged by the fact that Rome is the home of the national audiovisual industry. Then there is the public, an essential element for developing the commercial dimension. This year, for the first time ever, some of the market screenings held at the Cinema Barberini were also open to the public of Rome. The objective was, presumably, to allow buyers and sellers attending The Business Street to assess the impact of the movies on people who were not festivalgoers.
These two features – the city’s natural vocation for the Market and the integration of the same in the fabric of the metropolis – have distanced the Rome Festival even further from the Venice Film Festival which, historically and geographically, has a more elitist nature, bringing it increasingly closer to Toronto, the theatrical event that has been the most successful around the world in creating continuity between Festival, market and public.
For the moment these are just signs. It is up to the new management to make them a reality. However, one thing is certain: the Rome Film Festival and The Business Street constitute the Italian movie industry’s last chance to have an international market in Italy.

Nella sezione: Focus on italy