Rome TV festival adopts lunar theme

Buzz Aldrin to mark moon landing anniversary

The third Rome Fiction Fest devoted to TV fiction has unveiled a varied international lineup, with a fair sprinkling of Hollywood product.

Steve Della Casa, artistic topper for the second year, said the Rome Film Fest’s sister event was “all about the product” and not just a chance for some backslapping.

Among guests, lunar legend Buzz Aldrin will be at the premiere of Richard Dale’s “Moonshot. The Flight of Apollo 11.” The doc, marking the 40th anniversary of Aldrin and his fellow astronauts’ epoch-defining trip to the moon, will play July 6 on The History Channel.

The Hollywood contingent includes “Lost’s” Matthew Fox and executive producers Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse, who’ve scooped this year’s Special Prize. Lindelof and Cuse will also join “Lost” exec producer Jack Bender in a masterclass pinpointing what makes an international hit series.

In competition, “Endgame,” Peter Travis’ political thriller for the U.K.’s Channel 4, and Ralph Hemecker’s New Orleans-set drama “Midnight Bayou,” starring Faye Dunaway, are in the running for best TV movie.

HBO’s polygamy drama “Big Love,” and John Landis’ “Fear Itself” are up for the best continuing series prize.

Also unspooling are Antonello Grimaldi’s “The Monster of Florence,” based on a real-life serial killer, plus the latest series of “Grey’s Anatomy” and “C.S.I: Crime Scene Investigation.”

New to the fest is the RomaTVScreenings, showcasing Italian content. As last year, a special midnight session will show teen and horror fare.

The fest, which is backed by local TV producers’ body APT, pubcaster RAI, Silvio Berlusconi’s Mediaset broadcast group and News Corp. paybox Sky Italia, will run from July 6-11.