Wes Anderson, Joel Coen, Frances McDormand and Paolo Sorrentino Booked For Rome Fest Talks

ROME — Wes Anderson, Joel Coen, Frances McDormand, William Friedkin, Paolo Sorrentino and Italian star architect Renzo Piano are among onstage speakers recruited by new artistic topper Antonio Monda for the 10th edition of the recently reconfigured Rome Film Festival.

Anderson (pictured) is booked for a conversation with Pulitzer Prize-winning U.S. author Donna Tartt about their love for Italian movies; Joel Coen and McDormand will speak about what it’s like to be husband and wife on set, and also on the notion of “muse”; Friedkin will hold forth with an as yet unspecified Italian master; Sorrentino will screen and discuss a previously unseen short of his and talk about the films that formed his cinematic vision. Renzo Piano will talk about the rapport between movies and architecture.

Monda, a New-York based Italian journalist and academic with ties to the U.S. film and literary worlds, recently replaced Marco Mueller as Rome’s artistic director, after Mueller’s three-year mandate expired. Piera Detassis, a prominent Italian film journalist, critic and fest topper, was named Rome prexy.

The Rome fest has since been renamed Festa del Cinema, which translates literally as “Film Party” rather than festival. It will be a slimmed-down metropolitan affair that will mix genres from around the world, including TV series and works on the cusp between cinema and video art. Year-round screenings and master classes will complement the actual event.

Monda said this year some 35 movies will vie for the fest’s only prize, awarded by the audience.

Tribute will be paid to Pier Paolo Pasolini, 40 after the Italian director’s still mysterious death.

Rome’s market component is instead being beefed up and renamed MIA – an acronym for Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo. The new Rome mart will feature films, TV series and documentaries, and incorporate its existing Business Street and New Cinema Network market components. MIA will run Oct. 16-20.

The 10th edition of the Rome fest will take place Oct. 16-23.

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