With Veronica Pivetti as godmother, the RomaFictionFest returns to Rome from 5th “” 10th July, for the fourth time, after three editions marked by a constant growth in spectators (over 40 thousand at the 2009 edition).
The festival opens at the Auditorium della Conciliazione with the world premiere of “Body of Proof “, the procedural drama produced by ABC Studios starring Dana Delany (Desperate Housewives).
However, there will also be a strong focus on domestic drama: in fact, the Auditorium will be hosting previews of “Il sorteggio” (Drawing lots), a TV movie about Italy’s years of terrorism, directed by Giacomo Campiotti and produced by Artis for Rai Fiction, “Le ragazze dello swing” (The girls of swing), a TV movie about the legendary Trio Lescano directed by Maurizio Zaccaro and produced by Casanova Entertainment for Rai Fiction, and “Il peccato e la vergogna” (Sin and shame), directed by Luigi Parisi and Alessio Interri, produced by Ares Film for RTI-Mediaset.
With the artistic direction of Steve della Casa and the general direction of Michele Misuraca, the Festival is organized by the Fondazione Roberto Rossellini per l’Audiovisivo [Roberto Rossellini Foundation for Audiovisuals], and promoted by the APT- Italian Association of TV Producers, the Regione Lazio and the Chamber of Commerce of Rome.
The locations have been confirmed – the Auditorium Conciliazione and the Multisala Adriano “” whilst the LUMSA Sala Tesi will be hosting Industry Week.
A new feature is the Villaggio della Fiction “” Drama Village, an area set up inside the gardens of Castel Sant’Angelo to bring the public closer to the trade secrets of the TV and film community.
There is another new feature for the competition sections at the Multisala Adriano: from this year, the International Competition will be divided into three categories: Drama TV, Comedy TV and Factual TV The star of the bill is music to which a special section is dedicated. There will be the world premiere of “Lennon: Naked”, a biopic about John Lennon.
Already screened at the last Cannes Film Festival, but making its Italian debut, is “Stones in Exile”, about the band that was the protagonist of the other half of the legendary 60s “” the Rolling Stones “” produced by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Charlie Watts.
There will be a tribute to Michael Jackson with the screening of “My Friend Michael Jackson. Uri’s Story” by Uri Gellar, whilst the TV movie “Worried about the Boy” takes a look at the early years of the career of another 80s music icon, Boy Gorge.
We return to the present with “Viva Coldplay” focusing on the band’s tour of Japan in 2009.
And Madonna will be appearing in an episode of “Glee”, the big success story of 2010 created by Ryan Murphy, of which RomaFictionFest will be presenting an episode that has never be screened before in Italy, “The Power of Madonna”.
Another genre that features at this edition is factual television, which will leave a strong impression with “Le Jeu de la Mort”, the documentary by Cristophe Nick about the extreme frontier of reality shows in France.
And “Klass: Elu Parast” by Gerda Kodermets, Andres Arro and Mart Saar, a story inspired by the tragic Columbine High School massacre, is the first Estonian contribution to the RomaFictionFest.
There is an all-star cast – Susan Sarandon, Al Pacino and John Goodman “” for “You Don’t Know Jack”, a TV movie about the life of Jack Kevorkian, the notorious “doctor death” who carried out the first assisted suicide in the 90s, and practiced euthanasia on over 130 terminally ill patients.
Real life stories enter the political sphere with “Mo” by Philip Martin, the TV movie starring Julie Walters as Mo Mowlam, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, appointed by Tony Blair, torn between her commitment to politics and her fight against cancer.
On a historical note, there is “F.K.: The Three Shots That Changed America”, where directors Nicole Rittenmeyer and Seth Skundrick recount the last 48 hours of the US president’s life through personal accounts, pictures and documents, many of which previously unpublished.
More recent history, Italian history this time, provides the backdrop for the second season of the multi award winning TV series “Romanzo criminale” (Criminal Novel).
Another dominant theme in the field of drama is the family, which the Festival will be presenting in its many facets: from the modern, extended families of “Tutti pazzi per amore 2” (Mad for love 2) where musicals are always an excellent narrative ploy, to the “criminal” family of “Lulu & Neon”, a Danish TV series written by Jens Dahl (who wrote the screenplay for Pusher by Nicolas Winding Refn), filmed experimentally using just one camera.
Whilst Italian production talent is celebrated once again at this edition with a special prize awarded to Claudia Mori of Ciao Ragazzi, there is also the new RomaFictionFest Award for Industry Excellence, presented to an international production company.
This year the winner is ABC Studios which produces a number of successful TV series including”Lost”, “Desperate Housewives”, “Alias” and “Grey’s Anatomy”.
A great actor, Andy Garcia, will receive the Artistic Excellence Award and will hold one of the scheduled Masterclasses; another will be held by Simon Mirren, executive producer of Criminal Minds.
Not just Italian stars, but foreign ones as well will be walking down the Orange Carpet: Sebastian Koch for ” Seawolfe”, Erica Christensen (Traffic) for the family drama “Parenthood” and Michael Vartan, Sylvie’s nephew, and the face of the new medical series, “Hawthorne”. Agnieszka Holland’s “Treme” (the drama series set in post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans), will be accompanied by the show’s two stars, Wendell Pierce and Khandy Alexander.
“The RomaFictionFest has become a true national people’s Festival, blending public with industry: two souls that, this year, have worked very closely together”: Steve della Casa is very happy about the way this fourth edition of the Festival has been put together.
A Festival created, as we are reminded by Francesco Gesualdi, president of the Fondazione Rossellini, to “give television producers back their central role”.