The Rome Film Festival has announced plans to hold a physical edition from Oct. 15-25, featuring several titles from the Cannes Film Festival’s Official Selection, alongside a roster of other pics including David Bowie origin pic “Stardust” and local crowdpleaser “Mi Chiamo Francesco Totti” (“My Name is Francesco Totti”), a doc about the A.S. Roma soccer team’s iconic former captain.
Produced by Fremantle’s Italian units Lorenzo Mieli’s The Apartment and Mario Gianani’s Wildside and other partners including Vision Distribution, RAI Cinema and Amazon Prime Video, “Totti” is described in promotional materials as an intimate tale, told in first person, about both Totti the athlete and the man, a native Roman who spent his entire 24-year career with A.S. Roma before retiring in 2017. Vision is handling international sales.
“Totti” is directed by Alex Infascelli who previously made a well-received doc titled “S is for Stanley,” about Stanley Kubrick’s Italian driver, that has been distributed around the world.
Organizers said Francesco Totti will be prancing down the Rome festival’s socially-distanced red carpet in the Italian capital’s Renzo Piano-designed Auditorium Park Della Musica. Totti, for Rome, has the same star wattage as any A-list Hollywood star. He will also hold a masterclass about his cinematic tastes.
Rome Artistic Director Antonio Monda during a virtual press conference also announced that “Stardust” by British director Gabriel Range and starring multi-hyphenate Johnny Flynn as Bowie will be screening in Rome and that he has invited the director and actor to attend.
“We are inviting talents for all selected films,” Monda said, noting that “it will be easier for talent to fly into Rome from continental Europe and the U.K. than from the U.S.,” but that he is hoping that come October travel from the U.S. will be possible.
Cannes director Thierry Frémaux is expected to be on hand at the Rome fest’s 15th edition to present a still unrevealed selection of Cannes 2020 Label films that will screen in Rome as part of Cannes’ collaboration with several other international festivals, including San Sebastian, following the French fest’s canceled edition due to the coronavirus crisis.
“Cannes didn’t take place this year, but we are honored to present the 2020 Official Selections’ movies where they are invited. In Rome, with its fest, its history and its spirit, cinema is still alive!” Fremaux said in a Rome fest statement.
Asked if the Cannes films that will screen in Rome will include Wes Anderson’s “The French Dispatch” Monda, who has a close rapport with Anderson – he has a cameo in Anderson’s “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” – said he has “not seen it yet.”
Late great Indian auteur Satyajit Ray, perhaps best known for his “Apu” trilogy about childhood, youth and manhood in Bengal, will be honored with a retro.
Freshly restored versions of Italian cinema classics “In nome della legge” by Pietro Germi and “Padre padrone” by the Taviani brothers will also unspool.