×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Reviving Rome’s ‘La Dolce Vita’

Informal, newly minted movie mart centers on famous street

Fest takes populist approach | Extra eclectic

SHOWBIZ TRAVELER: ROME
Reviving Rome’s ‘La Dolce Vita’ | Where to eat | Seeking bargains | Where to visit | Rome after dark | A Gelato crawl through Rome

When the City of Rome devised an ambitious plan for a top-tier international film festival, they knew that the Via Veneto of “La Dolce Vita” fame had to be factored into the equation.

Now, five years later, Rome’s Business Street movie mart has found its footing on the avenue where Federico Fellini coined the term “paparazzi” in the Eternal City’s Hollywood on the Tiber days.

“It’s been a key to our success,” says the informal mart’s coordinator, Diamara Parodi Delfino.

“The idea was to bring the Via Veneto grandeur back to life, but this time counterbalancing the frivolous cinematic glamour it used to stand for with film-business gravitas.”

Since the demise of Milan’s Mifed film market a few years ago, Italy aspired to establish another film mart it could call its own.

But rather than conceive a bulky, hunkered down affair — in its bid to become Europe’s third movie market — Rome opted for a much lighter touch which, in hindsight, has proved timely.

So, instead of stands, the Business Street mart offers terraces with breathtaking views and free drinks, atop Via Veneto-area hotels, where execs can hold meetings after taking in screenings in nearby cityplex cinemas: The idea being that the last thing companies want these days is to shoulder additional costs.

“We’ve never wanted to compete with the Berlin and Cannes markets; that’s why we gave ourselves a much lighter infrastructure,” says Parodi Delfino.

The Rome market’s main hub is the Bernini Bristol hotel, on the Piazza Barberini, with its roof garden, renamed the Disaronno Contemporary Terrace space, ideal for free-form meetings. This is where you go if you need to catch someone on the fly.

The Hotel Majestic, on the Via Veneto, also with a terrific terrace, is where the myriad workshops, presentations and confabs are held, including a Variety panel this year on the impact of the Web on film journalism and marketing. The Majestic serves as headquarters of Italian motion picture association ANICA and also of the EU’s Eurimages co-productions entity, which will be awarding two nods during the fest.

Rome’s informal mart has also expanded into the Via Veneto’s Marriott Grand Hotel Flora, which boasts a rooftop with one of Rome’s most sweeping vantage points. The venue is now the headquarters for the New Cinema Network co-production mart, which has launched a partnership with the Sundance Institute’s Feature Film Program. The Hotel Flora will also host the Business Street’s new Industry Books section.

A few yards away in the Villa Borghese park is Rome’s Casa del Cinema cinematheque where, aside from a slew of offbeat screenings, European Film Promotion will be holding its Shooting Stars showcase celebrating emerging European talent.

And, while there is certainly a lot going on, “the atmosphere is human,” says Parodi Delfino. “It’s not fast-paced and frenetic like Cannes or Berlin.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    “The sound of filmmaking has been my own personal score,” Laura Dern said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she prefaced. “I was conceived on a [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

  • John Legend LVE Wine

    Celebrities Take Hands-On Approach to Making Fine Wines

    Care to sip champagne backed by Jay Z or 50 Cent? Or mellow out with a fine Chianti from Sting and Trudie Styler? Behind every wine label is an incredibly expensive team effort of surprising proportions. Wine lovers may consider making their own as the ultimate dream; however, few can afford the buy-in. Vineyards are [...]

  • St. Clair Brown, Mad Fritz lead

    Craft Beer Thrives in the Heart of Napa Wine Country

    Napa Valley has long been devoted to the products of the grape, but the region actually played a pivotal role in getting the craft beer revolution off the ground. New Albion Brewing launched the microbrewery trend in adjacent Sonoma County in 1976, inspiring a wave of delicious and potent alternatives to pale industrial beer. There’s [...]

  • California Wines

    Splurge a Little on Choosing the Best California Wines for the Holidays

    California’s bounty of premium wines is prized by home cooks who can present and serve world-class wines without effort to their guests. “One should always splurge for the first bottle,” when serving wine at home, says Doug White of Napa’s soon-to-open Mia Carta collective tasting room. He suggests a rosé or syrah for Thanksgiving or [...]

  • Charter Oak Napa Valley Restaurant

    Where to Eat During the Napa Valley Film Festival

    The Napa Valley continues to see some of the most exciting restaurant openings in the country. From Thomas Keller’s foray into Mexican food at La Calenda to celebrity chef Hal Yamashita’s first U.S. outpost, diners will find a bounty of fresh choices up and down the valley — many of them newly opened since last [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content