De Niro pic to debut at RomeFilmFest

Parts of the anticipated CIA history “The Good Shepherd” — a project well over a decade in development –will be screened for the first time at the RomeFilmFest next month.

About 20 minutes of the pic, directed by Robert De Niro and starring Matt Damon and Angelina Jolie, will likely screen at the inaugural edition of the fest. De Niro will take part in a discussion on the film.

News was announced today as part of a larger cooperative effort between the Tribeca Film Festival and the Rome fest.

Movie takes a look at the early history of the CIA, with Damon playing an idealistic operative who becomes disillusioned with the agency during the Cold War. Universal releases the pic Dec. 22.

De Niro and Jane Rosenthal, both Tribeca co-founders, are producers, along with James G. Robinson and Robert Richardson.

Rome kicks off its first-ever festival Oct. 13 with “Fur” as the opening-night film.

At a Gotham press conference featuring New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni, along with respective fest toppers, Tribeca unveiled six movies that will be screened at Rome as part of the official partnership including buzz doc “The War Tapes,” Egyptian feature and Tribeca award winner “The Yacoubian Building” and spelling-bee tale “Akeelah and the Bee.”

An undisclosed number of pics showing at Rome will appear at Tribeca next year.

Organizers point out compatibility between the two events, as each emphasizes movies with broad appeal in addition to more typical fest fare.

Rome also announced the creation of the Steps and Stars Award, which “recognizes individuals and cultural entities that have made significant contributions to the film industry” and said the Tribeca fest had won its first prize. De Niro will accept the prize in Rome.

Rome fest and Rome Chamber of Commerce are cultural sponsors of Tribeca.

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