Rome Film Festival

September 17, 2018

Fall is coming and just as the Venice Film Festival has recently ended, for Italy from 18th to 28th of October that means one thing: Rome Film Festival. Rome Film Festival above all means two things, beautiful weather in the most marvellous city setting and a maze of films to be astonished by as well as entertained. Hosting distinguished and memorable people from the world of contemporary cinema adds to this festival’s buzz and its attraction.

The festival and the community around it had beautifully placed and restored the importance of film in a magnificent and ancient surrounding such as Rome. In the past decades the film industry has been greatly present in Rome more than any other Italian city, and in many ways, this festival symbolises and celebrates its long-standing relationship with film. This year the festival counts its 13th year and it has grown into a spectacular event that speaks to the public love for great cinema and brings experiences of masterful visual storytelling. Since 2006 the festival hosted major performances with abounding major films providing the audience with a wide program array that covers everything from young and successful directors, year’s most important films, different film genres, Italian films and films for children.

Rome Film Festival Poster with Peter Sellers
Rome Film Festival Poster with Peter Sellers

“Rome Film Festival, although still a young one, is considered to be one of the most important festivals in the world.”

Although the full line-up of the films for this year’s festival is still to be announced on October the 5th, the organisers of the Festival have so far given a sneak peek of what is to come. Proudly it has been announced that the festival will be honouring director Martin Scorsese and actress Isabelle Huppert with a lifetime achievement award. Another highlight of the festival is the Close Encounters event in which the director Martin Scorsese will partake, with a discussion on Italian cinema in which he will disclose eight Italian films that have changed his life. Actresses Cate Blanchett and Sigourney Weaver are also to participate in the Close Encounters event at which they will discuss their work.

Director Martin Scorsese with actor Leonardo DiCaprio
Director Martin Scorsese with actor Leonardo DiCaprio

Close Encounters have become somewhat of a Rome Film Festival’s trademark as they make room for exciting conversations with exquisite professionals from the world of art and film. Following the previously mentioned celebrated guests, the event will also feature the Italian film director Giuseppe Tornatore known for this notable work on films such as “Cinema Paradiso”, “Malena” and “The Big Offer” and the French multi-hyphenate Pierre Bismuth who is among many of his creations known for winning the screenwriting Oscar for “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. There are many more prominent speakers yet to be announced. All of the conversations will be carried out by the festival’s artistic director Antonio Monda, and on October 24th director Martin Scorsese will unveil the freshly restored version of a still unknown Italian classic.     

Director Giuseppe Tornatore
Director Giuseppe Tornatore

Another special event to take place during the festival will be the premiere of Paolo Virzi’s new film “Notti Magiche” which will honour the directors come back to Italian language filmmaking, after making “The Leisure Seeker” which starred Hellen Miren and Donald Sutherland. The acclaimed film directors new film “Notti Magiche” follows the misadventures of a group of young Italian screenwriters in Rome, who become prime suspects in a murder case.

Those who like to mix their premieres with older films won't be disappointed with the incredible retrospective view of the comic genius Peter Sellers films, who is this year’s festival leading poster figure. There is also a major retrospective view on the work of French director Maurice Pialat who won the 1987 Cannes Palme d’Or for “Under the Satan’s Sun”. Along with these tributes, there will be a high profile exhibition commemorating the iconic Italian actor Marcello Mastroianni.

Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer in "A shot in the dark" film
Peter Sellers and Elke Sommer in "A shot in the dark" film

As always, the main venue for the festival is the grand Auditorium Parco della Musica, the building complex designed by the Italian architect Renzo Piano. A place which hosts concerts, screenings, exhibitions, events, conferences and debates, will from the October 18th till the 28th become the world’s largest red carpet that will also spread its glory beyond the Auditorium and onto the whole city of Rome.

Take a look at the video of last years edition of The Rome Film Festival and feel its superb atmosphere!

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