ROME — The third Rome Film Festival has announced its full lineup, which, in the absence of high-profile preems from Hollywood, will focus more on international discoveries, Italo pics and a potentially pleasing mix of genres.
The official selection will feature 12 world preems, including Mena Suvari starrer “The Garden of Eden,” an adaptation of Ernest Hemingway’s last novel helmed by Brit John Irvin; Afghan helmer Siddiq Barmak’s “Osama” follow-up “The Opium War,” in which two U.S. soldiers are lost in Afghanistan; and Polish auteur Krzysztof Zanussi’s heart-transplant drama “A Warm Heart.”
The lone American pic in competition is helmer Gavin O’Connor’s Colin Farrell and Ed Norton starrer “Pride and Glory.”
Italo and Gallic competition pics include hot Italo helmer Edoardo Winspeare’s unconventional Mafia film “Galantuomini,” about a femme mobster, and helmer Josiane Balasko’s laffer “A French Gigolo,” in which Gallic star Nathalie Baye plays a divorced, middle-aged TV exec who pays for sex.
One of many comedies to unspool at the fest, which runs Oct. 22-31, will be “Let It Rain,” the latest laffer from helmer-scribe Agnes Jaoui (“The Taste of Others”), in which she also stars with comic Jamel Debbouze.
World preeming in competition is helmer Connie Walter’s Teutonic terrorism drama “Long Shadows,” about a former terrorist released from jail. “Shadows” will unspool the same day as Uli Edel’s similarly themed “The Baader Meinhof Complex,” out of competish.
Among other highlights of the Eternal City extravaganza is the first screening off home turf of Hong Kong helmer Tsui Hark’s romantic actioner “Missing,” plus the European preems of helmer-scribe Stephan Elliott’s Toronto title “Easy Virtue,” for which stars Colin Firth and Kristin Scott Thomas are expected, and Viggo Mortensen starrer “Good,” which was also in Toronto.
Mortensen, who will celebrate his 50th birthday in Rome, is coming to tubthump Ed Harris-helmed Western “Appaloosa.”
Mortensen will also take part in an onstage conversation about his artistic career, touching on his paintings, poetry, music and photography as well as his long rapport with David Cronenberg. Cronenberg, as previously announced, is coming to Rome with an art show of his film stills.
A 15-minute taste of helmer Elizabeth Hardwicke’s vampire romance “Twilight” and the international launch of Disney’s “High School Musical 3: Senior Year” are among highlights of the Alice in the City kiddie section.
As previously announced, the Rome fest will open with “L’Uomo che ama” (The Man Who Loves), a sentimental noir by young Italo helmer Maria Sole Tognazzi that stars Monica Bellucci and leading Italo thesp Pierfrancesco Favino.
Bellucci will walk the red carpet for a second year after revving up the paparazzi for last year’s opener, Gallic crimer “Second Breath.”
Rome fest artistic coordinator Piera Detassis told Daily Variety that she chose an Italian pic for the opener due to a dearth of alternatives offered by the Hollywood majors rather than for any political reason.
Earlier this year Rome’s new mayor, Gianni Alemanno, spoke out against the presence of Hollywood movies at the fest, but he has since backpedaled on this sensitive issue.
The world preem of omnibus film “8” — shorts by eight helmers, including Gus Van Sant, Mira Nair and Jane Campion, tackling the subject of world hunger — will open the Rome Cinema 2008 section out of competition on the same day.
Other previously announced titles include “The Duchess,” with Keira Knightley in tow, and Isabelle Huppert starrer “Un Barrage contre le Pacifique.”
About 600 industryites are expected to attend Rome’s Business Street mart on the Via Veneto where some 120 pics will unspool, more than half of which are not in the official selection.
Rome Film Festival Lineup Official Selection
“Aide toi et le ciel t’aidera,” Francois Dupeyron (France)
“El artista,” Gaston Duprat, Mariano Cohn (Argentina-Italy)
“Native Dancer,” Guka Omarova (Russia-Germany)
“Un Barrage contre le Pacifique,” Rithy Panh (Cambodia-France-Belgium)
“A French Gigolo,” Josiane Balako (France)
“Northern Land,” Joao Botelho (Portugal)
“Easy Virtue,” Stephan Elliott (U.K.)
“Galantuomini,” Edoardo Winspeare (Italy)
“Un gioco da ragazze,” Matteo Rovere (Italy)
“Good,” Vicente Amorim (U.K.-Hungary)
“Iri,” Zhang Lu (South Korea)
“Opium War,” Siddiq Barmak (Afghanistan-Japan-South Korea-France)
“Parlami di me,” Brando De Sica (Italy)
“Il passato è una terra straniera,” Daniele Vicari (Italy)
“Le plaisir de chanter,” Ilan Duran Cohen (France)
“Pride and Glory,” Gavin O’Connor (U.S.)
“Resolution 819,” Giacomo Battiato (France-Poland-Italy)
“Long Shadows,” Connie Walter (Germany)
“L’uomo che ama,” Maria Sole Tognazzi
“A Warm Heart,” Krzysztof Zanussi (Poland-Ukraine)
OUT OF COMPETITION
“8,” Jane Campion, Gael Garcia Bernal, Jan Kounen, Mira Nair, Gaspar Noe, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gus Van Sant, Wim Wenders (France)
“The Baader Meinhof Komplex,” Uli Edel (Germany)
“The Duchess,” Saul Dibb (U.K.-France)
“Parlez-moi de la pluie,” Agnes Jaoui (France)
“Missing,” Tsui Hark (Hong Kong)
“Si può fare,” Giulio Manfredonia (Italy)
ALICE IN THE CITY PREMIERE
“High School Musical 3,” Kenny Ortega (U.S.)
“Appaloosa,” Ed Harris (U.S.)
“The Garden of Eden,” John Irvin (U.K)
“RocknRolla,” Guy Ritchie (U.S.)
“Il sangue dei vinti,” Michele Soavi (Italy)
“L’ultimo pulcinella,” Maurizio Scaparro (Italy)
“Aspettando il sole,” Ago Panini (Italy)
“All Human Rights for All,” comprising 30 shorts, Italy