30 october | Nanni Moretti is the protagonist of a Close Encounter, four films from the Official Selection on the Monday program

The 12th Rome Film Fest celebrates one of Italy’s most acclaimed and best-loved filmmakers: on Monday, October 30, at 9 pm in the Sala Petrassi at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, Nanni Moretti takes the stage for a Close Encounter. For over forty years, he has been a lucid observer and unflinching critic of our society and its cultural and political drift, and now Nanni Moretti will treat audiences to an overview of his fascinating career on the big screen. Moretti’s many incarnations include that of actor and director of all his films (from Ecce bombo and Dear Diary to The Son’s Room and My Mother), actor (in films like The Yes Man and Quiet Chaos), as well as producer, and spectator at large, plus festival juror.  

There are four films from the Official Selection premiering tomorrow.

At 7:30 pm, the Sala Sinopoli is hosting C’est la vie! (Le sens de la fête) by Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, who have brought that classic happiest day in a couple’s life – their wedding – to the big screen. The film sees that day, however, through the eyes of the people working to make it so special, showing all the phases of the event, from the organization to the party, in one long day that will be full of surprises, plot twists, and laughs galore.

Next up at 10 pm, the same theater holds the premiere of Who We Are Now by Matthew Newton. “I wanted to make a film about these two complex women,” the director explains. “I thought with Julianne Nicholson’s character, Beth, here was an opportunity to give a female actor the chance to create the kind of multi-layered, challenging character that our great male actors have been playing since the 1940s. Beth has insatiable appetites, an extensive history, and emotionally driven impulses; Julianne and I worked together very closely, exploring her responses to each situation. With Emma Roberts’ character, Jess, we have an ambitious young woman who is at times reactive and headstrong, yet wants to make a difference. Both of them are strong female characters and I’m blessed to work with two strong talented women to bring them to life.”

Meanwhile, in Sala Petrassi at 6:30 pm, the premiere of The Movie of My Life by Selton Mello offers up the story of an education of a young man and his sense of loss, set in Brazil and based on the novel A Distant Father by Antonio Skármeta. Young Tony Terranova nurtures a passion for cinema and poetry, but is grappling with certain rites of passage: his first love and the father who abandoned him.

At 9:30 pm, the Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna will be hosting the premiere of The Hungry by Bornila Chatterjee. Based on Shakespeare’s Titus Andronicus, the film tells the story of Tulsi, bride-to-be of Sunny, the son of a corporate heavyweight.  “We took the play’s villain – Tamora, Queen of the Goths – and turned her into our protagonist, a single mother and bride-to-be called Tulsi Joshi who comes to her own wedding seeking revenge for the brutal murder of her oldest son. I want people to think about how we end up hurting ourselves when we chase power and blind love and revenge.”

For the second year in a row, the Rome Film Fest symbolically breaks down the wall between city and penitentiary and returns to Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. The program kicks off on Monday, October 30, at 8 pm, with the premiere of “Hamlet in Rebibbia”, a full-HD livestreamed performance at the prison screening at the Auditorium of the MAXXI, the Teatro della Tosse in Genoa, the Teatro dell’Arca (inside the Marassi Prison), the Teatro Massimo in Cagliari and the Teatro Eliseo in Nuoro.  “Hamlet in Rebibbia” is a new cult show from the inmate/actors who earlier starred in Caesar Must Die, now up against the famous Shakespeare play, directed by Fabio Cavalli. Before the show, there will be a screening of the short film SalviAmo la faccia by Giulia Merenda. The event is the result of a collaboration between the Fondazione Cinema per Roma, the Department of the Penitentiary Administration and the Department of Philosophy, Communication and Drama at Roma Tre University, and is produced by La Ribalta – Centro Studi Enrico Maria Salerno. Screenings of Film Fest offerings will be open to the public as well at the Rebibbia Auditorium. Free admission to all events on a first-come, first-served basis, but reservations are required (information and reservations

After its enthusiastic reception last year, the 12th Rome Film Fest organizes the second “Critical Conditions” panel at the MAXXI, at 11 am. Curated by Mario Sesti, Artistic Coordinator of the Selection Committee and Retrospective Curator, the event aims to become a festival regular: an annual look at the profile of the film critic, perspectives on and future prospects for this very particular career. The panel, entitled “From Newspaper to Smartphone: Film reviews, Film criticism and Video Essays” takes recent books by two English-language film critics as its starting point and then looks at the state of the art: delving into all things film criticism, from academic studies and newspaper reviews to online reviews and video essays. This second round of “Critical Conditions” features Annette Insdorf, Professor of Film Studies at Columbia University and author of Cinematic Overtures: How to Read Opening Scenes (Columbia University Press); A.O. Scott, chief film critic at The New York Times, who wrote Better Living Through Criticism (Penguin Press); and Paolo Mereghetti, chief film critic at Corriere della Sera and author of the renowned Italian film dictionary “Il Mereghetti” (Baldini & Castoldi Dalai). Moderator Mario Sesti will then open the discussion to questions from numerous Italian and international film critics in the audience.  

At 3 pm, AuditoriumArte will host the workshop “New Mediums in Cinema and Communications“, organized by the Italian Federation of Public Relations (FERPI) in collaboration with the Fondazione Cinema per Roma. Young professionals, film and communications experts and journalists will meet to compare notes and speculate about potential future scenarios and new ways of enjoying film. With this workshop, FERPI aims to promote the experiences of talented professionals in the field, innovators and visionaries who reconstruct their career paths and the secrets of their success.

There is a packed program of repeat screenings at different venues across the city. The Sala Sinopoli will be screening Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie by David Soren (at 11:30 am) and Stronger by David Gordon Green (at 5 pm), while the Sala Petrassi is hosting a repeat screening of I, Tonya by Craig Gillespie (at 4 pm). The Teatro Studio Gianni Borgna is showing Insyriated by Philippe Van Leeuw (at 11 am), The Party by Sally Potter (at 3 pm) and Ferrari: Race to Immortality by Daryl Goodrich (at 5 pm). The 3 and Google Cinema Hall does Teatro Studio one better, with four repeat screenings: Boom for Real: the Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat by Sara Driver (at 3 pm), Cuernavaca by Alejandro Andrade (at 5 pm), C’est la vie! (Le sens de la fête) by Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano (at 8 pm), and Who We Are Now by Matthew Newton (at 10:30 pm). The MAXXI is showing Love Means Zero by Jason Kohn (at 2:30 pm), while My Cityplex Europa has four repeat screenings on the schedule: Catch the Wind by Gaël Morel (at 3:30), The Young Shepherd by Gonzalo Justiniano (at 5:30 pm), Abracadabra by Pablo Berger (at 8 pm) and Ferrari: Race to Immortality by Daryl Goodrich (at 10 pm). 

The independent sidebar Alice nella città will be screening Camorriste by Paolo Colangeli (at 9 am) and Giants Don’t Exist by Chema Rodriguez (at 11:30), while the Cinema Admiral will be showing Koala by Cristina Puccinelli (at 8:30 pm), followed by Cercando Camille by Bindu de Stoppani. The Amaldi High School will host screenings of As I Open My Eyes by Leyla Bouzid (at 9 am) and Xenia di Panos H. Koutras (at 11 am).


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