The rebooted Rome Film Festival has unveiled its lineup of 59 world preems comprising a wide range of arthouse, genre and edgy fare peppered with more mainstream titles and a robust U.S. presence, reflecting new topper Marco Mueller’s signature stamp. Fest runs Nov. 9-17.
A trio of U.S. indie titles will be competing, led by Roman Coppola’s sophomore pic “A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III,” toplining Charlie Sheen as a brokenhearted playboy and Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman as his buddies.
Also packing star power is Gabriel and Alan Polsky’s “The Motel Life,” starring Emile Hirsch, Dakota Fanning, Stephen Dorff and Kris Kristofferson in the story of two brothers who skip town after being involved in a fatal accident.
The third U.S. entry, by contrast, is Larry Clark’s “Marfa Girl,” a coming-of-ager set in Texas that features mostly locals as actors.
Japanese cult helmer Takashi Miike will bow gory chiller “Lesson of Evil,” about a psychopathic teacher who starts killing his students.
Gallic helmer Valerie Donzelli (“Declaration of War”) is coming to Rome with nonconventional romancer “Hand in Hand,” while Mexican helmer-scribe Enrique Rivero (“Parque”) is bringing his sophomore drama “Mai morire,” about a deep mother-daughter rapport.
Italy is repped by Pappi Corsicato’s plastic surgery satire “Il volto di un’altra,” Paolo Franchi’s “E la chiamano estate” and Claudio Giovanesi’s “Ali ha gli occhi azzurri,” about youths involved with drugs and guns in Rome’s hinterland.
As previously announced, DreamWorks Animation and its latest 3D epic “Rise of the Guardians” will be feted, with CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg, “Guardians” exec producer Guillermo del Toro and helmer Peter Ramsey in tow.
Another big Hollywood title to be showcased in the Eternal City is “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” screening as part of its regular international launch.
The jury is headed by “Mud” helmer Jeff Nichols.
Mueller, who had little over four months to assemble his lineup due to major power struggles over his appointment as artistic director, touted it as “a miracle.”
“We followed the best possible course,” he said “one aimed at enlivening our relationship with those who make films and distribute them, and to consider our potential audiences in a new way. The program that resulted is one we believe has a distinct identity,” he said.