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ROME 2023

The programme for the 21st edition of Alice nella Città boasts modern fairy tales, animations and genre films

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- The independent section of Rome Film Fest dedicated to young people and directorial debuts will unspool between 18 and 29 October in a variety of the Italian capital’s venues

The programme for the 21st edition of Alice nella Città boasts modern fairy tales, animations and genre films
How to Have Sex by Molly Manning Walker

Ten international works in competition, 4 out of competition, 8 titles in the Panorama Italy competition, not to mention special screenings, restored works and short films amidst world premieres, directorial debuts and original films: the 21st edition of Alice nella Città, the independent, parallel section of Rome Film Fest dedicated to the younger generations, is offering up a jam-packed programme (between 18 and 29 October, in various locations across the capital) where fairy tales are used as a means to explore the modern world.

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Identity, desire and the search for identity are just some of the themes running through many of the titles selected this year by Alice’s directors Fabia Bettini and Gianluca Giannelli, who presented the programme on Wednesday in Rome’s Auditorium. The competition will open with Molly Manning Walker’s How to Have Sex [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Molly Manning Walker
film profile
]
, which won the Un Certain Regard competition in Cannes, before showcasing titles such as Una Gunjak’s Excursion [+see also:
film review
interview: Una Gunjak
film profile
]
, Hugues Hariche’s Rivière [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hugues Hariche
film profile
]
, and María Zanetti’s Alemania [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: María Zanetti
film profile
]
. The line-up also include Lonely [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Italian-Swiss director Michele Pennetta, depicting a moving journey by two free souls who are united in their passion for music, and The Other Son [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Juan Sebastián Quebrada, which is an autobiographically-flavoured first work revolving around a teenager wrestling with a painful loss. The complex nature of family ties is the common theme of two competition titles: the only Italian film competing, Gianluca Santoni’s first work Io e il Secco, whose tiny protagonist hires a killer to protect his mother from domestic violence, and Clenched Fist by Belgium’s Vivian Goffette, exploring the consequences of blood ties taken to the extreme. Belgium will also offer up Katika Bluu, Stéphane Vuillet and Stéphane Xhroüet’s second work about a former child-soldier in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, while Warwick Thornton’s Australian title The New Boy, starring Cate Blanchett, rounds off the competition selection.

Also available to view in the Out of Competition line-up are Club Zero [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
by Jessica Hausner, One Life [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by James Hawes (the festival’s closing film), starring Anthony Hopkins and Helena Bonham Carter, and Federico Bondi’s Italian-Belgian movie Superluna, focusing on the thoughts, words and actions of children within a small community hit by an earthquake. Special screenings will revolve around James Hunt’s French comedy The New Toy (starring Jamel Debbouze and Daniel Auteuil), Benoît Chieux’s animated movie Sirocco and the Kingdom of Air Streams [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Jim Capobianco’s stop-motion animation The Inventor [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, and, in collaboration with Rome Film Fest, a premiere of The Boy and the Heron by Oscar-winning Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki.

Among the 8 titles gracing the Panorama Italy line-up, which blend the monstrous with the wonderous, the brutality of nature with childlike amazement, and archaic forces with new ways of living, is Luna Gualano’s La guerra del Tiburtino III [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, an irreverent comedy which sees aliens landing in the Roman outskirts with a view to conquering the world; Francesco Carnesecchi’s horror film Resvrgis; Marco Martani’s film noir Eravamo bambini [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
; and cinéma vérité in the form of Stefano Chiantini’s Una madre and Emiliano Corapi’s Suspicious Mind, where what starts out as a game of Russian Roulette slowly turns, minute by minute, into sentimental annihilation. Films such as Massimiliano Zanin’s sports-based movie The Cage [+see also:
trailer
interview: Massimiliano Zanin
film profile
]
, for example, will be treated to a special screening.

Rounding off the Alice programme are events such as the Womenlands meetings, for a new kind of female-style storytelling approach, involving actresses Anna Foglietta, Alissa Jung and Nastassja Kinski; encounters with directors Jessica Hausner and Fien Troch; a tribute to animator and director Simone Massi (recently seen in Venice with Nowhere [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
); two restored works (L’isola by Costanza Quatriglio and Il cavaliere inesistente by Pino Zac, based on Italo Calvino’s novel The Nonexistent Knight); the new professional event dedicated to short movies Short Film Days (running 18 - 20 October); and the return of Sintonie, in collaboration with the Venice Film Festival, offering up 6 titles hailing from the Lido, including the film which scooped Best Director in the Orizzonti line-up, Paradise is Burning [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mika Gustafson
film profile
]
by Mika Gustafson.

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(Translated from Italian)

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