ROME — Helmer Giuseppe Tornatore has been recruited to head the Rome Film Festival jury.
Tornatore, whose lavish Sicilian epic “Baaria” opened the Venice fest last year and subsequently scored a robust $14 million locally via Medusa, was praised by Rome prexy Gian Luigi Rondi as “one of Italian cinema’s outstanding figures.”
While “Baaria” failed to make the short list for this year’s foreign-language film Oscar race, Tornatore’s “Cinema Paradiso” did scoop the foreign Oscar statuette in 1990.
Tornatore’s pluriprized thriller “La Sconosciuta” (The Other Woman) bowed at the Rome fest in 2006.
The upcoming fifth edition of the ambitious Eternal City extravaganza will see Italo critic Piera Detassis back at the helm for her second year as artistic director with a substantial budget at her disposal and plans to beef up the fest’s Business Street market component.
Tornatore will preside the main jury of the populist fest, the same role that Milos Forman had last year when Rome first introduced a professional jury replacing its original format under which regular Roman film buffs had been the jurors.
The other members of this year’s Rome jury of internationally prominent film and art world personalities will be announced closer to the fest start.
The Rome fest will run Oct. 28 through Nov. 5.