Sixty pics to world preem in Official Selection
LONDON — The Rome Film Festival is upping the ante. New artistic director Marco Mueller said Tuesday the event would world preem 60 pics in a new-look Official Selection as the former Venice fest boss put his stamp on the Eternal City event with a raft of changes.The Official Selection will include an Intl. Competition with a maximum of 15 films, an Out of Competition section with up to six pics, and two additional competitive showcases: CinemaXXI, which will screen up to 15 films focussing on trends in contemporary cinema, and Perspectives Italy, examining trends in Italian cinema via a maximum of 14 features and seven shorts. All Official Selection pics will be world preems, although exceptions will be made for films not publicly screened outside their country of origin. The fest aims to become a sounding-board for the local biz with a program of events for Italo industryites, including conferences, seminars and workshops for projects. A seven-strong jury will judge the Intl. Competition and award the Golden Marc’Aurelio for best film, as well as a Special Jury Prize, and awards for helmer, actor, actress, emerging actor or actress, technical contribution and screenplay. There will also be kudos for debut film, lifetime achievement and an audience award. Mueller has brought together a selection committee that includes former London fest head Sandra Hebron, scribe Marie-Pierre Duhamel, head of the Italian Cinematheque Enrico Magrelli, film critic and journalist Giona Nazzaro, writer-researcher Laura Buffoni, and, for the documentaries, multi-hyphenate Mario Sesti. Other consultants include Chen Zhiheng (China/Hong Kong/Taiwan), Deepti D’Cunha (India), Elma Hadzirdezepovic Tataragic (the Balkans), Sheri Jennings (U.S.), Babak Karimi (Iran), Diego Lerer (Latin America), Paolo Moretti (“out-of-format” works in CinemaXXI), Alena Shumakova (Russia and the CIS states) and Tomita Mikiko (Japan). The fest’s showcase of youth-oriented cinema, Alice nella citta, has become an independent sidebar. The program will also include retrospectives and tributes. Fest runs Nov. 9-17 at the Auditorium Parco della Musica and other venues in Rome. The fest’s film market, The Business Street, and co-production market, New Cinema Network, run Nov. 14-18.