Rome lines up Hollywood greats

Loren, Fonda, Coppola, Malick on guest list

The Rome Film Festival has announced a slew of high-caliber guests — including Sophia Loren, Jane Fonda, Terrence Malick, Francis Ford Coppola and Bernardo Bertolucci — who will hold onstage conversations for its Extra section.

Loren, as previously announced, is being honored with Rome’s IMAIE Acting Award, given last year to Sean Connery.

Fonda is coming as part of a tribute to New York’s Actors Studio, which will also see alumnae Shirley Knight and Cloris Leachman making the trek and chatting under the spotlight.

After being coaxed for more than a year, the reclusive Malick will talk about his love for Italian cinema, as well as his own work, with the proviso that paparazzi be kept outside.

Coppola, who is coming for the world preem of “Youth Without Youth” in the main section, will chat with the public after a screening of his wife Eleanor’s docu “Coda: Thirty Years Later,” a follow-up to her “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse.”

Rome organizers hope to get the whole Coppola family, including children Sofia and Roman, onstage.

A Bertolucci day will celebrate his film “1900” with a spanking new cut of the historic epic unspooling and star Gerard Depardieu on hand to reminisce and discuss.

In terms of titles, Rome’s cutting-edge sidebar comprises 29 works in different formats.

They include the world preem of Colin Firth-narrated “In Prison My Whole Life,” which focuses on former Black Panther Mumia Abu-Jamal, who has spent the past 25 years of his life on death row and claims to have been wrongly convicted.

Docu, helmed by Marc Evans (“Snow Cake”), will world preem simultaneously in Rome’s Extra/Other Visions and at the London Film Festival in what Extra chief Mario Sesti called “an unprecedented launch, and a new way to fight the death penalty.”

U.S. docus seen in Sundance and Tribeca feature prominently. Among these: “The King of Kong,” about two men duking it out in a “Donkey Kong” videogame match; “Taxi to the Dark Side,” which examines torture in Afghanistan; and “War Dance,” about three Ugandan children preparing for a music competition.

Among other entries rounding out the section and competing for the E20,000 ($28,000) Cult Prize are Aussie docu “Forbidden Lies,” about writer Norma Khouri’s literary hoax; Italy’s offbeat “Le pere di Adamo,” which correlates patterns in class struggle and changes in the weather; and “Sigur Ros — Heima,” about the band Sigur Ros performing in their native Iceland.

A separate Extra subdivision comprises U.S. helmer Adam Wingard’s indie horror pic “Pop Skull”; docu “Clint Eastwood, A Life in Film” by Michael Henry Wilson; Rolf De Heer’s homage to classic silent comedies “Dr. Plonk”; Jonathan Demme’s post-Katrina account “New Home Movies From the Lower 9th Ward”; and Italo helmer-pop star Franco Battiato’s reflection on spirituality “Nothing Is as It Seems.”

The Rome Film Festival runs Oct. 18-27. Its main lineup will be announced Sept. 27.

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