When in Rome: Highlights of this year's 17th Rome Film Fest

With James Ivory's latest, a doc on his life-changing trip to Afghanistan, and MENA gems like Firas Khoury's 'Alam' and Mounia Meddour’s 'Houria' the festival's new management is off to a great start.
When in Rome: Highlights of this year's 17th Rome Film Fest

The Rome Film Festival saw the departure of Antonio Monda as Artistic Director this past March. He's been replaced by a new management team, made up of former Rai executive Paola Malanga as Artistic Director and Cineteca di Bologna director Gian Luca Farinelli as President.

The festival’s 17th edition, held between October 13-23, will host 130 titles on 28 screens across the Italian capital, which is also a new thing since in the past most of the screenings were inside the festival's headquarter at the Casa del Cinema.

This time around the festival has also implemented a Competition section called "Progressive Cinema – Visions Of Tomorrow’s World” for the first time since its inception. While Rome Film Festival has always been a great party for the city and for those who love cinema, this will make it a proper film event.

Marjane Satrapi will chair the jury of the Progressive Cinema Competition, the new competitive section of the Rome Film Fest. The Iranian filmmaker and cartoonist will be joined by actor and director Louis Garrel, directors Juho Kuosmanen and Pietro Marcello, and producer Gabrielle Tana.

The Rome Film Fest will also host the “Ugo Tognazzi” Award for Best Comedy, which will be awarded by a jury chaired by Carlo Verdone and composed of actress Marisa Paredes and author and actress Teresa Mannino.

Attention will be given to young authors with the BNL BNP Paribas Best First Feature Award: a jury chaired by director and screenwriter Julie Bertuccelli and composed of director Roberto De Paolis and film critic Daniela Michel will award the prize to one of the titles in the Progressive Cinema Competition and Freestyle sections.

The film in the competion include Firas Khoury’s Alam (Palestine), Pavel Giroud’s El Caso Padilla (Cuba), Lila Neugebauer’, as s Causeway (U.S) produced by Jennifer Lawrence, Francesco Patierno’s La Cura (Italy), Carmen Jaquier’s Thunder (Switzerland), Mounia Meddour’s Houria (Algeria), Aerun Goette’s In A Land That No Longer Exists (Germany), Jeon Ji-Hye‘s Jeong-Sun (Korea), Wang Xiaoshuai’s The Hotel (China), Fabrizio Ferraro’s I Morti Rimangono Con La Bocca Aperta (Italy), Andrea Bagney’s Ramona (Spain), Rodrigo Garcia’s Raymond and Ray (U.S), produced by Alfonso Cuaron, Zachary Wigon’s Sanctuary (U.S.), Ady Walter's Shttl (Ukraine) and Guillame Nicloux’s Lockdown Tower (France).

The films partaking in the Progressive Cinema Competition will be judged by a jury made up of professionals from the world of cinema, culture and the arts, who will assign the following awards: Best Film, Best Director, Best Screenplay, the ‘Monica Vitti’ Award for Best Actress, and ‘Vittorio Gassman for Best Actor and a Special Award for best photography, soundtrack and editing. Two additional awards are the ‘Ugo Tognazzi’ Award for Best Comedy and the Best First Work BNL BNP Paribas Award.

There is also a great retrospective of James Ivory's work which includes our favorite Merchant and Ivory film A Room with a View, starring Julian Sands and Helena Bonham-Carter, as well as his most recent work A Cooler Climate, a documentary on the time he spent in Afghanistan, a very different country from the one we know today, in 1960. Ivory will also receive the festival's Lifetime Achievement Award and will be featured in a fascinating 'In Conversation'.

The opening film will be Francesca Archibugi’s Il Colibrì, starring Pierfrancesco Favino, Laura Morante, Bérénice Bejo and legendary director-actor Nanni Moretti. Also on view will be David O. Russell's Amsterdam, The Menu starring Ralph Fiennes, and Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans -- all enjoying their Italian premiere.

For more informations check out the Rome Film Festival website.

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