ROME – U.S. music and movies producer Danny Bramson will head the jury of Italy’s Biografilm Festival, the unique event billed as a cinematic celebration of human lives which will open with Bramson-produced Jimi Hendrix Biopic “All Is by My Side,” directed by John Ridley and toplining Andre 3000.
To celebrate its tenth edition the Bologna-based fest, headed by Italo critic and film industry entrepreneur Andrea Romeo, will also fete documaking greats Donn Alan Pennebaker, Michel Gondry, Nicolas Philibert, and performance artist Ulay, as well as Bramson, with lifetime achievement awards.
D.A. Pennebaker and his wife and frequent co-director Chris Hegedus will also be honored with a mini-retro comprising rockumentaries “Don’t Look Back,” “Jimi Plays Monterey,” and campaign strategy-themed “The War Room.”
Biografilm’s theme this year is What’s Culture? Accordingly, Wim Wenders-produced 3-D docu “Cathedrals Of Culture” will be unspooling, along with, among other titles, Gondry’s “Is The Man Who Is Tall Happy? An Animated Conversation With Noam Chomsky,” Steve James’ portrait of Roger Ebert “Life Itself,” getting its Italian launch, and Fredrick Wiseman’s “National Gallery,” making its international bow.
Interestingly, “National Gallery,” “All Is by My Side,” and Lenny Abrahamson’s edgy portrait of a band “Frank” – which is the fest’s closer – will all be released in Italy via Biografilm’s film distribution spin-off I Wonder Pictures. Romeo set up the niche distribution label two years ago to release Malik Bendjelloul’s “Searching For Sugarman” in Italy. The I Wonder label has grown steadily since then.
“Frank,” which features Michael Fassbender wearing a plaster mask for the whole film, will screen in the fest’s new Biografilm Europa section dedicated to European biopics. Abrahamson, who is Irish, will also be homaged with a mini-retro comprising his works “Adam and Paul” and “What Richard Did.”
Another Biografilm novelty this year is the launch of its first industry side, called Bio to B which will feature docu project presentations and pitches to Italian and international producers.
The 10th Biografilm fest will run June 6-16.