email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

ROME 2019

Elegance and curiosity are the bywords of this year’s Rome Film Fest, and a further two sections are now in the offing

by 

- Women stand centre stage in this 14th edition of the event spearheaded by Antonio Monda, while Bill Murray, Ethan Coen, Olivier Assayas and Bertrand Tavernier feature among the great many guests

Elegance and curiosity are the bywords of this year’s Rome Film Fest, and a further two sections are now in the offing
Tornare by Cristina Comencini

It’s a dual-natured event: captivating and elegant, much like the face of Greta Garbo which adorns this year’s festival poster, and on the hunt for new discoveries, as befits its 14 years of age… a teenage festival, if you will. This is how Laura Delli Colli, the president of Rome’s Cinema Foundation, summed up edition number 14 of Rome Film Fest, which is set to unspool from 17 to 27 October. As per usual, it’s a celebration of film which doesn’t involve film prizes (with the exception of the Audience Award), which boasts just the right dose of pop culture and which sees big-name guests in attendance not only to promote their most recent works, but also, and quite simply, to come face to face with the public and share their passion. 

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

The Film Fest is female, Antonio Monda was at pains to stress today upon the unveiling of the programme in Rome, in this his fifth year as artistic director. Indeed, the fil rouge of this edition, aside from music, the environment and migrants, is the extraordinary attention paid to the world of women. We’ll see the new film by Cristina Comencini, Tornare, a powerful story starring Giovanna Mezzogiorno, which delves into the past and into the painful upheavals experienced by a woman who’s not as young as she used to be, as well as the documentary Your Mum and Dad in which Dutch director Klaartje Quirijns explores the complex mechanisms of the mind as regards the relationships we enjoy with our parents. Meanwhile, La Belle Époque [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nicolas Bedos
film profile
]
by Nicolas Bedos will see Fanny Ardant make her return to Rome, Rupert Goold’s Judy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
will tell of Judy Garland’s final London tour, Willow by Milcho Manchevski will apply out-and-out realism to tackle the theme of motherhood, and Military Wives [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Peter Cattaneo will see Kristin Scott Thomas in the shoes of a perfect (and unhappy) wife who finds comfort in music. The love story narrated in Filippo Meneghetti’s Two Of Us [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
is also wholly female, while femicide is the focus of Alessandro Piva’s documentary Santa subito, set in Bari in the 1980s.

Another Italian film jostling amongst the Official Selection’s 22 titles is Guido Lombardi’s Il ladro di giorni, starring Riccardo Scamarcio in the role of a father who’s just been released from prison and wants to spend a few days with his son. Likewise set to be screened in Rome are The Aeronauts [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Tom Harper, Downton Abbey [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Michael Engler, Happy Birthday [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Cédric Kahn and Nomad. In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Werner Herzog, whilst the most enticing non-European titles include The Irishman by Martin Scorsese, Hustlers starring Jennifer Lopez, Motherless Brooklyn (which is opening the festival) directed by Edward Norton and Pavarotti by Ron Howard.

The 13 Close Encounters of 2019 will be graced by the likes of Bill Murray and Viola Davis (who will each receive a lifetime achievement award, with the former in line to be handed his trophy by Wes Anderson), not to mention Olivier Assayas, Ethan Coen, Benicio Del Toro, John Travolta, Bertrand Tavernier and Hirokazu Kore-eda (who will be the focus of a retrospective). Two new sections are also set to be unveiled this year: Duel and Loyalty/Betrayal. In the first, 30 big personalities from the world of culture will battle it out in front of an audience, wielding diverging opinions on film-related topics. In the second, 15 writers from Italy and beyond will evaluate film adaptations of famous literary works. 

Meanwhile, seven pre-opening films are on the cards (including L’uomo senza gravità by Marco Bonfanti and starring Elio Germano, and La prima donna by Tony Saccucci), as are 11 Special Events, with the latter including the screening of Interdependence: a work consisting of 11 short films directed by independent filmmakers hailing from all five continents of the world (including Iceland’s Ása Hjörleifsdóttir, Switzerland’s Bettina Oberli and Italy’s Silvio Soldini), examining the relationship between human society and the natural environment, and the ways in which the two are affected by climate change.

(Translated from Italian)

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.