Rome boasts 16 world premieres

Redford, Cruise expected to add glow to fest

The Rome Film Festival has announced its full lineup, which features a rich mix of quality crowdpleasers and more esoteric fare peppered with plenty of stars, including Robert Redford and Tom Cruise, who are expected to tubthump “Lions for Lambs.”

At Thursday’s packed press conference in Rome’s Auditorium, where the event’s second edition was unveiled, Mayor Walter Veltroni, a film buff, praised the selection and underlined the high-profile event’s peace pact with Venice.

“Last year a lot was made of a supposed conflict,” the mayor said. “But now that Venice has had an especially great edition, we will have a great one as well, and everyone will realize that we just are not a threat to each other.”

Rome’s 16 world preems include U.S. helmer Henry Bean’s comedy “Noise,” starring Tim Robbins as a man driven mad by noise in New York City, and Kirsten Sheridan’s musical tale “August Rush,” starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Robin Williams, bowing in the Alice in the City kiddie section.

As previously announced, Francis Ford Coppola’s highly awaited return to filmmaking, “Youth Without Youth,” is bowing Oct. 20 in the Premiere section, which will open with Shekhar Kapur’s “Elizabeth: The Golden Age.”

The Redford-helmed “Lions,” a contempo antiwar drama in which Cruise plays an ambitious U.S. senator, is the first pic produced by Cruise/Wagner under the UA banner. It will screen in Rome on Oct. 23 after world preeming Oct. 22 in London.

World preems in Rome’s artier competish are Iranian helmer Abolfazl Jalili’s “Hafez,” a “Romeo and Juliet” adaptation featuring Japanese star Kumiko Aso; German actress Maria Schrader’s directorial debut, “Love Life,” an adaptation of a novel by Israeli author Zeruya Shalev; and Indian helmer Anurag Kashyap’s “No Smoking.”

Raul Ruiz’s “La Recta Provincia,” a digitally shot, magical-realist tale set in rural Chile and derived from a TV series, will world preem out of competish and serve as a springboard for an extensive Rome retrospective honoring the Chilean helmer.

In a clear sign that Rome is building bridges, Cannes prexy Gilles Jacob will come present a new segment of the collective film “Chacun son cinema,” this one directed by himself. In this fresh addition to this year’s Cannes homage to cinematic art, an impassioned Jacob praises Anna Magnani and Rome as a city of cinema.

Opening the fest on a European note will be Gallic helmer Alain Corneau’s gangster pic remake “Le deuxieme souffle” (Second Breath), in competish, for which stars Monica Bellucci and Daniel Auteuil are expected on the red carpet.

Among other titles rounding off the competish are Jason Reitman’s Sundance teen-pregnancy comedy “Juno”; Toronto opener “Fugitive Pieces”; Spanish helmer Julio Medem’s “Chaotic Ana,” starring Charlotte Rampling; and Hector Babenco’s dark love story “The Past,” with star Gael Garcia Bernal in tow.

“The directors we selected have a particular type of courage in common: the courage to make high-quality auteur cinema, but with an audience in mind,” said Competition section co-curator Giorgio Gosetti.

A surprise competish title will be announced during the fest.

Italian entries scattered in various sections include Mimmo Calopresti’s “L’abbuffata,” starring Gerard Depardieu and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi; Carlo Mazzacurati’s immigration-themed “La giusta distanza”; Emidio Greco’s “The Private Man”; and Silvio Soldini’s “Days and Clouds,” which preemed positively in Toronto.

The gala Premiere section will see Sean Penn tubthumping for “Into the Wild,” based on the bestselling Jon Krakauer book; Keira Knightley is expected for Francois Girard’s “Silk,” based on the Alessandro Baricco bestseller; Susanne Bier’s first English-language feature, “Things We Lost in the Fire,” will unspool, with Halle Berry and Benicio Del Toro in tow; and Chazz Palminteri and Peter Bogdanovich are expected for “The Dukes,” Robert Davi’s heist pic set to a ’50s doo-wop beat.

Closing Premiere, and the fest, will be Julie Taymor’s Beatles tuner “Across the Universe.”

As previously announced, Sidney Lumet’s crimer “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead” is unspooling out of competition, with the helmer and stars Philip Seymour Hoffman and Ethan Hawke expected.

Sophia Loren is the big honoree this year, while Martin Scorsese, Jane Fonda, Terrence Malick and Bernardo Bertolucci also will receive tributes in various ways and hold onstage conversations. Scorsese is coming to unveil a new print of Sergio Leone’s “Once Upon a Time in the West,” freshly restored by the Film Foundation in collaboration with the Rome fest.

Heading the jury of 50 non-pro movie buffs will be Oscar-winning Bosnian helmer Danis Tanovic (“No Man’s Land”).

Some 320 international buyers and sellers are signed up for the Business Street mart, which will run Oct. 18-21 on the Via Veneto.

The fest runs Oct. 18-27.


Special Event – Homage to Gilles Jacob
“Anna Magnani, lupa romana,” “Chacun son cinema.”


  • “Barcelona, a Map,” Ventura Pons (Spain)
  • “Caotic Ana,” Julio Medem (Spain)
  • “The Vanishing Point,” Laurent De Bartillat (France)
  • “The Past,” Hector Babenco (Argentina-Brazil)
  • “Fugitive Pieces,” Jeremy Podeswa (Canada)
  • “Hafez,” Abolfazl Salili (Iran-Japan)
  • “Juno,” Jason Reitman (U.S.)
  • “The Right Distance,” Carlo Mazzacurati (Italy)
  • “Second Wind,” Alain Corneau (France)
  • “And the Spring Comes,” Chang Wei Gu (China)
  • “Love Life,” Maria Schrader (Germany)
  • “Hidden Love,” Alessandro Capone (Luxembourg-Belgium-Italy)
  • “The Private Man,” Emidio Greco (Italy)
  • “Mongol,” Sergei Bodrov (Russia-Mongolia-Kazakhistan-Germany)
  • “Reservation Road,” Terry George (U.S.)


  • “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead,” Sidney Lumet (U.S.)
  • “L’abbuffata,” Mimmo Calopresti (Italy)
  • “La Recta Provincia,” Raul Ruiz (Chile-France)
  • “Love Life,” Maria Schrader Germany
  • “Lions for Lambs,” Robert Redford (U.S.)
  • “No Smoking…!,” Anurag Kashyap (India)


  • “Across the Universe,” Julie Taymor (U.K.-U.S.)
  • “The Dukes,” Robert Davi (U.S.)
  • “Elizabeth: The Golden Age,” Shekhar Kapur (U.K.-France
  • “Days and Clouds,” Silvio Soldini (Italy)
  • “Youth Without Youth,” Francis Ford Coppola (U.S.)
  • “Into the Wild,” Sean Penn (U.S.)
  • “Noise,” Henry Bean (U.S.)
  • “Rendition,” Gavin Hood (U.S.)
  • “Silk,” Francois Girard (Canada-Italy-Japan)
  • “Things We Lost in the Fire,” Susanne Bier (U.S.)
  • “August Rush,” Kirsten Sheridan (U.S.)
  • “Enchanted,” Kevin Lima (U.S.)

Premiere Special Event

Dario Argento Night
“Suspiria,” 1977 “Inferno,” 1980 and “Mother of Tears,” Dario Argento 2007 (Italy)


  • “My Very Best Friend,” Isabelle Doval (France)
  • “Have Dreams, Will Travel,” Brad Isaacs (U.S.)
  • “Buddha Collapsed Out of Shame,” Hana Makhmalbaf (Iran)
  • “And When Did You Last See Your Father,” Anand Tucker (U.K.)
  • “Seachd – The Inaccessibile Pinnacle,” Simon Miller (Scotland)
  • “Choose Connor,” Luke Eberl (U.S.)
  • “Canvas,” Joseph Greco (U.S.)
  • “In Mom’s Head,” Carine Tardieu (France)
  • “Under the Same Moon,” Patricia Riggen (Mexico-U.S.)
  • “Spare Parts,” Aaron Fernandez (Mexico-France)
  • “Survivre avec les loups,” Vera Belmont (France)
  • “September,” Peter Carstairs (Australia)
  • “Into the Faraway Sky,” Isao Yukisada (Japan)
  • “Meet Mr. Daddy,” Kwang Su Park (South Korea)


  • “August Rush,” Kirsten Sheridan (U.S.)
  • “Enchanted,” Kevin Lima (U.S.)
  • “On Dirait que…,” Francoise Maire (France)


  • “Pride,” Sunu Gonera (U.S.)
  • “Il Nostro Rwanda,” Cristina Comencini and Carlotta Cerquetti (Italy)
  • “The Three Robbers,” Hayo Freitag (Germany)

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