Rome Film Festival
A celebration of modern cinema!
The city of Rome witnessed one the greatest festival of films. Movie enthusiasts and lovers had a real and rewarding feast they could carry in their memory for long. It was a festival for the entire film personalities, not only those who work for films, but even those who love cinema for the best part of it had great time to rejoice. The festival would take place at the Auditorium - Parco della Musica in the Parco del Cinema for full nine days. The screening of the movies and other relevant events were held at locations that symbolized Rome.
The festival was not about movies alone. It also took into its fold exhibitions, meetings, panels, music concerts, fashion and theatre performances all related to films. Internationally famed musicians like Antonio Pappano, Ennio Morricone and Riccardo Muti displayed high level movie inspired soundtracks. There were also exhibitions conducted by memorable actors like Bertolucci, Rossellini, Antonioni and Visconti on movie costumes, photography, future cinema and photojournalism. The streets wore a festive appearance and there was lively participation from all corners. The nine days were of festivity and celebration for the whole of Rome.
The Organizing Team
The organizing team consisted of famous personalities from all walks of the society of Rome. These committee members are:
Walter Veltroni, Irene Bignardi, Gaetano Blandini, Bruno Cagli, Francesco Gaetano Caltagirone, Luciana Castellina, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Davide Croff, Aurelio De Laurentiis, Enrico Gasbarra, Piers Handling, Kim Dong-ho, Felice Laudadio, Gianni Letta, Piero Marrazzo, Andrea Mondello, Renzo Piano, Ettore Scola
The Board members included:
Goffredo Bettini, Nicola Barbato, Gianni Borgna, Pietro Calabrese, Antonio Calabrò, Innocenzo Cipolletta, Giovanni Ferreri, Carlo Fuortes, Carlo Fuscagni, Francesco Gesualdi, Giorgio Gosetti, Giovanni Malagò, Mario Marazziti, Andrea Mondello, Giovanna Pugliese, Giulia Rodano, Antonio Rosati, Mario Sesti
The Festival Venues
The heart of the event was at Rome’s famous Auditorium - Parco della Musica that had four screening theatres with state-of-the-art facilities, conference rooms, reception areas for the purpose of get-togethers with celebrities, conversations with key personalities and premieres. Alongside was the Via Veneto that took the stage and became the prime business area during the festival. Beginning from Piazza del Popolo to Trevi Fountain, and from the studios at Cinecittà to Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia: the festival became a movie lover’s dream city that was redesigned with new cultural and traditional itineraries, from the Casa del Cinema, to Casa delle Letterature, and the Casa del Jazz. There were at least 20 screens that were dedicated to the screening of premieres.
The Cinema Festival
The festival was aimed to discover the great potential of moving images and cinema as powerful agents of spreading social and cultural moments. The grand event was also in the event of promoting modernization and experimentation in the field of techniques, audiovisuals, creativity and the overall quality of cinema even for the younger generation to master. As an initiative to nurture a new public backup for cinema, the event was also on the look out for a new audience for film festivals. The festival also focused on the craft of acting, the role of an actor/actress and the connection to the actual making of the film.
The programs for the festival were divided into many parts:
Competition - This section comprised movies of innovative nature. They were from movie makers from all over the world. The films released in the homelands required a world premiere or an international one for premiering in the festival. Italian films needed to be premiered in this festival. The feature films should have been presented only at one other festival other than that held in Europe.
Première: This hosted a series of grand evenings dedicated to big international premières. The stars and directors also participated in debates on the craft of filmmaking with the public. The Santa Cecilia saw the screenings of the premieres.
Alatriste (Agustín Díaz Yanes) - Spain
Fur: an Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus (Steven Shainberg)- U.S.A.
La sconosciuta (Giuseppe Tornatore) - Italy, France
Le Concile de pierre (Guillaume Nicloux) - France
N (Io e Napoleone) (Paolo )Virzì) - Italy, France, Spain
The Hoax (Lasse Hallström - U.S.A.
The Namesake (Mira Nair) - U.S.A.
The Prestige by Christopher Nolan - U.S.A.
Uno su due (Eugenio Cappuccio) - Italy
Cinema 2006: This comprised of latest selection of new works by directors from all over the world. A jury by the people assigned the award for the best film. It carried a cash award of 200,000 euros and awards for the best actress and best actor. Films that were in and out of the competition were included in this section. The Sinopoli saw the screenings of the movies.
Special Events: A celebration of movies that captured the attention of the public and still had a distinct mark of its own. The movies had all kinds of emotions packed with all kinds of elements that included art and technology.
The Actor’s Craft - A living legend and a great actor and an acting technique was glorified in this event. This was made possible by means of projections, exhibitions, conversations and workshops with the popular star.
Extra - One could also see some of the latest documentaries and new forms of audiovisual representations. The works were those released in the country of their makers and not been a part of film festivals held in Venice, Cannes, Berlin and Locarno.
Alice in the City - Young audiences is targeted in this section. It is a festival within a festival and had a separate program and encounters with young experts. European or world premiere was required for entry to this section.
Area Business - The festival wanted to support upcoming filmmakers. The last four days of the festival was dedicated to helping and discovering initiatives to support, sales and acquisition, production, distribution etc.
New Cinema - There was an equal opportunity for new filmmakers to showcase their creations. There was also a special interest on Italian and European films in collaboration with international organizations.
The entry into the festival was governed by many rules and regulations.
Whatever formats the film was in had to exceed a time limit of 60 minutes. The films had to be in original languages with subtitles in English. The films should have been produced past 1st November 2005. There should be a European or a world premiere for the films that participate, and can be released in their own country and should not have participated in more than one film festival. The board of directors is responsible for the final selection of films to participate in the festival. The board can also seek the advice of international advisors for the same. The medium of presentation will not be taken into account while deciding.
Jury and Awards
The jury consisted of 50 filmgoers from movie audiences headed by a president from a cultural of film circle selected the prize for the best film in the competition section. The cash prize of 200,000 Euros was to be divided among the director and the major producer. There were prizes for the best actor and actress as well. The jury’s decision was as always considered as final.
Three official awards were announced. They are for the best actor, best actress and the best film. The awards were designed by renowned Bulgari artists, famous all over for making Italian jewelry.
The acting award in the Actor’s Craft section was given away to Sean Connery. The special award was created in collaboration with IMAIE. Sean Connery was the hot favorite of the entire city during the festival. The PMQ award for a manager or an agent, who represented an actress or actor with an interesting career, was also given away.
The black comedy, ‘Playing the Victim,’ by Russian director and playwright Kirill Serebrennikov, bagged the first prize. The comic adaptation ‘Hamlet,’ walked away with the 200,000 Euros voted the best by the jury of the people. A special award went to ‘This Is England.’ Arianne Ascaride, the French actress won the award for the best actress for her role in ‘The Journey to Armenia,’ and Italy’s actor Giorgio Colangeli won the award for the best actor for his role in ‘Salty Air.’ ‘Lisco,’ an Italian movie won in the Alice in the city section, ‘Just like the son,’ in the Young audiences section. The blockbuster Premiere award went to ‘The Unknown,’ by Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy and the Cult Network award for documentary went to ‘Deep Water,’ by Louise Osmond and Jerry Rothwell, U.K. The L.A.R.A award for Italian performer went to Ninetto Davoli for his ‘Uno su Due.’
Robert De Niro was a major attraction towards the end of the film festival when he gave a public interview and also screened his CIA thriller ‘The Good Sheperd.’ De Niro's was one of the numerous stars who were responsible for the fest to be noticed internationally. Other celebrities who were present are Sean Connery, Leonardo DiCaprio, Nicole Kidman, Richard Gere, Harrison Ford and Monica Bellucci.
Movies are magical. They seem to draw all those who have a drive for creativity and passion for art and its various forms!