28 October | The true story of Jeff Bauman, in “Stronger”: Jake Gillenhaal walks the Rome Film Fest red carpet

The true story of Jeff Bauman spotlighted by the 12th Rome Film Fest: Saturday, October 28, at 7:30 pm, the Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium Parco della Musica hosts the premiere of Stronger, the new film by David Gordon Green. The American director has brought to the big screen the story of an ordinary guy whose story moved the entire world and turned him into a symbol of hope after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013. Jeff’s heroic and deeply personal journey to healing will put his family ties to the test, define the pride of a whole community, and give him the courage to overcome incredible adversity as he tries to rebuild his life with his partner Erin. The film’s virtuoso star Jake Gyllenhaal and Jeff Bauman himself will be the Rome Film Fest’s guests, on the red carpet starting at 6:45 pm.
There are four films from the Official Selection premiering on Saturday night.
At 10 pm, the Sala Sinopoli hosts the premiere of Last Flag Flying by Richard Linklater. For his latest film, the filmmaker, considered one of the best directors in recent American cinema, drew his inspiration from the novel of the same name by Darryl Ponicsan. In 2003, thirty years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Larry “Doc” Shepherd reunites with his buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. With the help of his old friends, Doc, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to bring his son home.
At 8 pm, the Sala Petrassi holds the premiere of Abracadabra, directed by Pablo Berger, who also helmed one of the most powerful and original films in contemporary European cinema, Snow White, winner of ten Goya awards. Abracadabra is about a perfectly ordinary couple, Carlos and Carmen, whose routine lives change when Carlos agrees to take part in a demonstration by an amateur hypnotist. The next morning Carlos starts behaving strangely – something went wrong and now he’s possessed by a spirit. As efforts are made to put things right, Carmen starts to feel curiously attracted to her “new” husband.
Next up in the Sala Petrassi, at 10:30 pm, there will be the premiere of My Son by Christian Carion. It is the story of a seven-year-old boy who disappears during a camping trip in the mountains with his school. “To me, My Son is a genre film,” the director explains.  “And it is indeed the first time I don’t have a true story to champion. It allowed me the freedom, and the pleasure, to tell a story while playing with the codes of a genre. My Son, for me, was the joy of going back to my first cinematic longings with no historical constraints to observe, no design brief.”
At 9:30 pm, the Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna will host the premiere of The Young Shepherd by Gonzalo Justiniano. “This project was born while I was observing in a screening room, within the Museum of Memory and Human Rights, the images that I had filmed more than thirty years ago in Pinochet’s dictatorship in the 80’s in Chile,” the filmmaker explains.  “At that time, I was 27 years old, four years since I had left Chile. Cinema has allowed me to explore life but also death. The Young Shepherd is based on the emotions in everyday life and the humanity of many, especially the women of the shanty towns, in the midst of violent times.”
At 4:30 pm, the Sala Petrassi will be hosting the premiere of Mazinger Z, in collaboration with Alice nella città. On hand for the screening of the hotly-awaited animated film: the famous manga artist Gō Nagai, the creator of the robot hero Mazinger Z forty-five years ago, in 1972 – in the very first Japanese anime starring a robot piloted by a human being from the inside. Its futurist allure and the values of peace and justice for which it fights have made Mazinger Z a global phenomenon, a timeless hero, one of the best-loved ever. Mazinger Z reunites the historic character Kōji Kabuto and his worst enemy, Doctor Hell, for an enthralling new adventure.
Starting at 9:30 am, as part of the 31st Eurovisioni Film and Television Festival, the Rome Film Fest will be hosting a seminar entitled “Creativity and Cultural Growth in Europe: what role can state television play?”. The event will be held at the MAXXI – the National Museum for XXI Century Arts, in a joint initiative between the Department of Cultural Growth of Roma Capitale and Eurovisioni. It creates a dialogue between the public broadcasting service, radio and television, the audiovisual industry and observers of the sector, and cultural policy promoters, with the aim of understanding the degree to which state radio and television still fuel creativity in Europe today and impact a nation’s cultural vitality. In the digital era, traditional modes of production, distribution, promotion and consumption of cultural products are being disputed. In this new context, it is more important than ever to stimulate and sustain a country’s cultural creativity and give all its inhabitants the possibility to enjoy it and/or participate.
Scheduled speakers include Luca Bergamo (Deputy Mayor of Rome and Councillor for the Cultural Growth of Roma Capitale), Helen Boaden (former BBC executive), Marco Chimenz (Cattleya), Michele Zatta (RAI Fiction), Guillaume Klossa (UER-EBU). The seminar will be introduced by Antonio Monda, Artistic Director of the Rome Film Fest, and Michel Boyon, president of Eurovisioni; it will be chaired by Anna Maria Tarantola (Eurovisioni) and moderated by Duilio Giammaria (RAI).
At 7:30 at the MAXXI, the Riflessi programme features a screening of The War in Between by Riccardo Ferraris. The documentary explores the Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC), a 20-acre sanctuary located in Frazier Park, California. In this stunning location, surrounded by green trees and mountains, war veterans and wolves fight against fear and depression. With this documentary, Italian filmmaker Riccardo Ferraris gets right to the heart of an extraordinary relationship: it’s the first documented case of a cross-species simultaneous therapy. The War in Between documents a slow transition: what veterans find at LARC, working with the animals and getting back to nature, is a shared sense of belonging.
The restored version of the classic Miseria e nobiltà by Mario Mattoli – its makeover courtesy of the CSC-National Film Library – will be screened at 12 noon at My Cityplex Europa, and then at 4 pm at the Casa del Cinema. The latter venue will also be hosting two films from The Films of Our Lives section, Across the Universe by Julie Taymor, and West Side Story by Jerome Robbins.
There will be an abundance of repeat screenings on Saturday. At the MAXXI, there will be a screening of Nobody’s Watching by Julia Solomonoff (at 2:30 pm); the film is also showing at My Cityplex Europa (at 6 pm). The Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium will be hosting A Private Affair by Paolo and Vittorio Taviani (at 3:30 pm), which is also showing at My Cityplex Europa (at 4 pm). The Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna will host a screening of Mazinger Z by Junji Shimizu (5 pm); also at 5 pm, the MAXXI will screen All That Divides Us by Thierry Klifa. The 3 e Google Cinema Hall has three repeat screenings tomorrow: Detroit by Kathryn Bigelow (at 5 pm), Stronger by David Gordon Green (at 8 pm), and Last Flag Flying by Richard Linklater (at 10:30 pm). Last but not least, My Cityplex Europa will be screening The Party by Sally Potter (at 8 pm) and All That Divides Us by Thierry Klifa (at 10 pm).
The independent sidebar Alice nella città, will be screening Captain Underpants by David Soren (at 12 noon in the Sala Sinopoli), while the 3 and Google Cinema Hall will be hosting Io sono qui by Gabriele Gravagna, Luce propria by Marco Danieli (at 11 am), and Skam by Julie Andem (at 2 pm), as well as the conference “Succede dal libro al film” (at 3:30 pm). There are three screenings at the cinema Admiral: Fuori sede preceded by the short A mio padre (at 6:30 pm), Metti una notte by Cosimo Messeri (at 8:30 pm), and Worst Case We Get Married by Léa Pool (at 10:30 pm).


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