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FESTIVALS Italy

150 features to screen at Rome, with many European films in competition

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150 features to screen at Rome, with many European films in competition

No longer known as the RomeFilmFest at the behest of president Gian Luigi Rondi (who has also decided to “Italianise” the names of the different sections), the Rome International Film Festival (October 22-31) looks set to combine its popular spirit with quality cultural offerings. To this end, the festival has appointed two juries, one composed of cinemagoers (inspired by People’s Choice at the Toronto Film Festival), and the other of renowned film critics (including Michel Ciment).

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Of the 150 features on the line-up, the two juries will judge those in competition in the Official Selection. Unveiled this morning, the official selection this year includes sections “Cinema 2008” (headed by Teresa Cavina and Giorgio Gosetti) and “Anteprima-Premiere” (organised by Piera Detassis).

Besides Daniele Vicari’s Il passato è una terra straniera [+see also:
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(“The Past is a Foreign Land”) and Maria Sole Tognazzi’s The Man Who Loves [+see also:
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, Italian contenders for the Golden Marc’Aurelio include Edoardo Winspeare’s Galantuomini [+see also:
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(“Honourable Men”); and feature debuts Un gioco da ragazze [+see also:
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(“A Game for Girls”) by Matteo Rovere and Parlami di me [+see also:
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(“Talk To Me About Me”) by Brando De Sica. Further titles include co-productions The Artist [+see also:
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(by Argentinean directors Gastón Duprat and Mariano Cohn) and Giacomo Battiato’s Resolution 819 [+see also:
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(co-produced with France and Poland).

European participation doesn’t end there. As predicted in the last few days by Cineuropa, also screening in competition are French titles With A Little Help From Myself [+see also:
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by François Dupeyron and Le Plaisir de chanter [+see also:
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(“The Pleasure of Singing”) by Ilan Duran Cohen. Other films include French director Josiane Balasko’s Client [+see also:
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; Cambodian-born French-based director Rithy Panh’s The Sea Wall [+see also:
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(adapted from Marguerite Duras’ eponymous book); Portuguese filmmaker João Botelho’s Northern Land [+see also:
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(based on a novel by Agustina Bessa Luis, who is Manoel de Oliveira’s favoured screenwriter); and Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi’s A Warm Heart [+see also:
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.

Also in competition are the second work by Germany’s Connie Walter, Long Shadows [+see also:
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(which explores terrorism, following the example of von Trotta’s The German Sisters); UK/Hungarian co-production Good [+see also:
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by cosmopolitan director Vicente Amorim, about a literature teacher who drifts into Nazism in 1930s Germany; and Easy Virtue [+see also:
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by Australian filmmaker Stephan Elliott, who, after Eye of the Beholder (his remake of classic Claude Miller film Of woman and Magic), this time tries his luck in the UK with a remake of Hitchcock’s 1928 film.

Out of competition, Europe is represented by the collective French film project 8/Huit, a humanitarian work by eight international directors, including Jane Campion, Gaspar Noé and Wim Wenders. Other European titles include Uli Edel’s historico-political blockbuster The Baader Meinhof Complex [+see also:
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; Saul Dibb’s UK/French/Italian co-production The Duchess [+see also:
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; Agnès Jaoui’s comedy drama Let It Rain [+see also:
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; and Giulio Manfredonia’s Italian work Si può fare [+see also:
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(“It Can Be Done”).

Special screenings include John Irvin’s UK film The Garden of Eden (adapted from Hemingway’s novel). Italy is also in the spotlight with Ago Panini’s Aspettando il sole (“Waiting for the Sun”); Michele Soavi’s controversial Il sangue dei vinti (“The Blood of the Defeated”); and the festival’s closing title L’ultimo Pulcinella by Maurizio Scaparro.

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(Translated from Italian)

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