We will not let any government ministers cause trouble at the Rome Film Festival”.
These words from Mayor Gianni Alemanno strongly characterized the press conference for the sixth edition of the Rome Film Festival.
In fact, those who feared an institutional detachment from the event created by Walter Veltroni instead saw a renewed interest on the part of the City Council as well as the regional government in what used to be called the “Festa del Cinema”.
Important support for a Festival that, despite the strength of the last edition of the Venice Film Festival, is still able to offer four Italian movies in competition, with the Golden Marco Aurelio award to be assigned by a jury headed by Oscar winner Ennio Morricone who is joined by director Susanne Bier, “Etoile” Roberto Bolle, actress, director and writer, Carmen Chaplin, producer David Puttnam, director Pierre Thoretton and actress Debra Winger.
In addition to the movie by veteran director Pupi Avati who, once again, grapples with memories and sentiments in “The big heart of girls”, the Italian films in competition include the debut by Ivan Cotroneo, a talented author and screenwriter who is bringing his successful novel, “La kryptonite nella borsa” to the big screen; Marina Spada with “Metaphysics for monkeys” and another extremely talented first time director, Pippo Mezzapesa, who will be proposing “The land of unhappy brides”, produced by Domenico Procacci.
Also in competition will be works by Fred Schepisi who directs Geoffrey Rush and Charlotte Rampling in “The Eye of the Storm”, France’s Claude Miller (“Voyez comme il dansent”) and Poland’s Pawel Pawlikoski who, in “˜The Woman in the fifth’, describes the meeting between a writer in crisis, played by Ethan Hawke and a mysterious woman, Kristin Scott Thomas.
“˜Hysteria’ by Tanya Wexler tells a romantic story about the creation of an instrument of female pleasure, and is set in Victorian London.
And, according to director Piera Detassis, women are the big protagonists of this edition of the Rome Film Festival, so much so that the Red Carpet will inevitably turn pink.
“Many international names will be walking down the red carpet in Rome”, explains Detassis.
“From Asian stars like Michelle Yeoh and Zhang Ziyi to Olivia Newton-John, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Isabelle Huppert, Charlotte Rampling, Felicity Jones, Marcia Gay Harden, Kristin Scott Thomas and Noomi Rapace, as well as a packed “parterre” of Italian leading ladies.
The Festival will be opening with “The Lady”, a movie inspired by Nobel peace prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, and ending with a restored version of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, in honor of the exhibition dedicated to Audrey Hepburn.”
This year the Acting Award goes to Richard Gere, and actors will be the true protagonists of the “duets” prepared by Mario Sesti.
There will be a Master Class with the maestro of America cinema, Michael Mann, Sergio Castellitto and Penelope Cruz will talk about how they make movies in Europe and Hollywood, and Vinicio Marchioni and Valeria Solarino will discuss new ways of understanding acting.
The public meetings will be closed by Riccardo Scamarcio and Sergio Rubini.
The Extra section will also be dedicating a large amount of space to women with lots of movies that have links to the female world: “Franca la prima” by Sabina Guzzanti dedicated to Franca Valeri, “˜Case chiuse’ by Filippo Soldi, “˜African Women’ by Stefano Scialotti, “˜La passione di Laura’ in which director Paolo Petrucci focuses on the love story between actress Laura Betti and Pierpaolo Pasolini, and “˜Diversamente Giovane’ that our colleague at Cinema & Video International, Marco Spagnoli, devotes to Attorney Giovanna Cau, one of the Italian movie industry’s first female agents.
“The eyes of women who, from behind the video or film camera, show that they can offer a view that is no less penetrating and athletic, will be one of the protagonists of the Extra section”, explains curator Mario Sesti.
“Women who talk about exemplary female figures (like in Sabina Guzzanti’s movie) and young first time film-makers such as Heidi Rizzo who, in Edoardo Winspeare’s production “Grazia e furore”, shows a completely different type of globalization featuring two young athletes from Salento who compete in a boxing match in Thailand.
There is also an up-and-coming Argentinian, of Italian origin, whose impressive first work has a touch of Hitchcock (Laura Citarella, with “Ostende”), and an American, Liz Garbus, who recounts the romantic and dramatic life of Bobby Fischer.
There are aspiring young Siberian models sent to Japan like postal packages (“Girl Model”) and a Chinese journalist who is a popular rock star in her home country and interviews condemned prisoners just before they are executed (“Dead Men Talking”).
Amongst the women who are being celebrated by the Rome Film Festival, we should also mention Pina Bausch, the great choreographer to whom Wim Wenders has dedicated his first 3D feature simply called “Pina 3D”.
There is also a 3D restoration of the film “˜Totò in 3D”, which Aurelio De Laurentiis has been working on for almost two years and will be presenting at the Festival.
Amongst the most “well-known” film-makers we should not forget Giuliano Montaldo with his out of competition movie “The industrialist”: a story set in a foggy, nocturnal Turin, in the middle of the big economic crisis.
Roberto Faenza directs “Someday this pain will be useful to you”, also out of competition, based on the novel by Peter Cameron, a light andpassionate portrait of contemporary New York.
Curtis Hanson presents another New York based movie about the economic crisis, “Too big to fail”, starring William Hurt: the unnerving story of the 2008 financial crisis and the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The Rome Movie Market section will be responding to the crisis by keeping its “lightweight” formula and re-proposing its “jewels”:
New Cinema Network, the section dedicated to international co-productions, and Industry Books, a window onto the area of the publishing industry that produces stories for cinema.
Thanks to the growing number of participants at The Business Street, confirming the quality of its proposals, director Roberto Cicutto has stated:
“We don’t need to convince anybody anymore”.
He has announced that, from next year, The Business Street will emigrate to “more efficient structures to match the quality demanded by technological development”, warning that exports, the Roman Market’s main mission, need to be supported, especially by institutions, through suitable promotional interventions with “strategic priority”.
As usual there will be a variety of proposals at “Alice nella Città ” curated by Luca Giannelli which, in addition to events such as “The Lion King 3D” and a series of trailers for movies like the next part of the “˜Twilight’ series, or Martin Scorsese’s first 3D movie “˜Hugo Cabret’, includes a collection of titles that will be carefully followed by the section’s younger viewers.
“Our public has grown over the years”, explains Giannelli “and our greatest satisfaction is discovering how much filmmakers and actors want to meet young people in order to hear what they define as the most interesting questions and to experience some stimulating and fun moments”.