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ROME 2015

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“Every film invited has already won”: Monda presents the new Rome Film Fest

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- The tenth edition, which does not feature a competition, will take place from 16-24 October; guests include Jude Law, Wes Anderson, Todd Haynes, William Friedkin, Joel Coen and Paolo Sorrentino

“Every film invited has already won”: Monda presents the new Rome Film Fest
Alaska by Claudio Cupellini

There will be no competition, jury, or opening or closing ceremony; just a single prize, the Audience Award, and a selection based solely on quality, rather than on the allures of the red carpet – the aim being to rediscover the essence of cinema: “The sharing of an emotion on the screen, in the dark.” The new artistic director of the Rome Film Fest, Antonio Monda, has some very clear ideas about what the tenth edition of the Roman event (16-24 October) will have to be. “Every film and every guest is a winner as soon as they get invited,” he asserted at the unveiling of the official programme in Rome yesterday. The Fest will have an overwhelming majority of world and European premieres, in addition to some Italian ones: “I find it absurd and even ridiculous that audiences should have to deny themselves the chance to see a movie just because it was screened previously in New York or Paris.” 

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Meetings, retrospectives and a single official section are the cornerstones of the new Rome Film Fest. A number of “up-close and personal meetings” with Jude Law, Todd Haynes, Riccardo Muti and Paolo Villaggio have been added to those with directors, actors and great cultural personalities already announced in June (read the news); the name of the director who William Friedkin will chat to has also been unveiled: his favourite, Dario Argento. In addition to his unseen 15-minute segment of the omnibus film Rio, Eu te amoPaolo Sorrentino will close the Fest by reshowing The Great Beauty [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Paolo Sorrentino
festival scope
film profile
]
, complete with 40 minutes of unseen footage. There will be three retrospectives, curated by Mario Sesti: besides the one dedicated to Antonio Pietrangeli and the one announced over the last few days on Pablo Larraín (read the news), the Fest will also pay tribute to Pixar, 20 years since the release of its first feature film, Toy Story.

A total of 37 films (around half the number of previous years) comprise the lean official selection, hailing from 24 countries, 11 of which are European. They include works of fiction, documentaries and TV series, covering a broad range of genres. There are four Italian titles: Alaska [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Claudio Cupellini, an “extreme and fiery melodrama” starring Elio Germano; the “biting comedy that ruthlessly digs deep into the main characters” Dobbiamo parlare [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 by Sergio Rubini, starring Fabrizio Bentivoglio and Isabella Ragonese; Lo chiamavano Jeeg Robot [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
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interview: Gabriele Mainetti
film profile
]
 by Gabriele Mainetti, about a previous offender from a working-class suburb who acquires superpowers, starring Claudio Santamaria and Luca Marinelli; and the documentary by Gianni Amelio and Cecilia Pagliarani Registro di classe, a long voyage spanning more than a century, featuring teachers, children and parents as they describe compulsory schooling. 

Another documentary is The Confessions of Thomas Quick [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by British director Brian Hill, the story of a deranged murderer that includes some absurd and disconcerting elements. Also standing out, besides the previously announced Truth by Vanderbilt (read the news) and The Walk by Zemeckis (read the news), is Eva Doesn’t Sleep [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Pablo Agüero (Argentina, France and Spain), about the body of Evita Perón, which for 25 years was a source of much conflict, starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Denis Lavant; The Propaganda Game [+see also:
trailer
interview: Álvaro Longoria
film profile
]
by Spanish director Alvaro Longoria, about the propaganda war in North Korea, “one of the most frightful situations on the planet”, Monda suggests; the Danish title Land of Mine [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Louis Hofmann
interview: Martin Zandvliet
film profile
]
by Martin Zandvliet, about a group of very young German prisoners of war deported to Denmark and forced to clear two million mines planted by the Nazi army; Room [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film profile
]
by Irish director Lenny Abrahamson, fresh from winning the Audience Award at Toronto; and the US films The End of the Tour, on David Foster Wallace, and Experimenter, on the controversial behavioural experiments using electric shocks that were carried out at Yale. Lastly, we have Junun by Paul Thomas Anderson, a “concert film that is one of the most beautiful that have ever been made”, according to the director; Office, a “scintillating musical” directed by the master of the Hong Kong crime movie, Johnny To; and among the TV series, the second season of Fargo.

Among the plethora of tributes, there are those to Ettore Scola, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Stanley Kubrick (including the unveiling of the documentary S is for Stanley [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Alex Infascelli, the main character of which is the man who was the great American director’s personal chauffeur for more than 30 years), in addition to Hitchcock/Truffaut, Frank Sinatra and Luis Buñuel, among countless others. The Rome Film Fest will also pay tribute to Virna Lisi, dedicating this year’s poster to her and establishing an award named after her, which will be given out on 8 November to the Best Italian Actress of the Year.

(Translated from Italian)

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