Closing of the People’s Jury selections
In one week only, a committee directed by Ettore Scola has personally interviewed 300 candidates for the jury at the RomeFilmFest headquarters. Only 40 will make the cut. The media partners of the Festa, the monthly cinema magazine Ciak and the youth culture network Mtv, will choose the other 10, thus completing the 50 members of the Jury. The Mondadori committee has selected 5 members on behalf of Ciak; while Mtv has picked out 20 candidates and left the selection of the final 5 to the RomeFilmFest committee.
“Apart from the functional purpose of the interviews, it’s been an interesting experience to meet the candidates personally, it’s been a way to get in contact with the audience”, said Scola, a few days before the closure of the selection of the jury that will choose the winner from among the 14 movies taking part in the RomeFilmFest competition. The candidates are asked to perform a simulation test, which requires them to assign a literary award, relying on some clues given out by the committee. In one hour’s time, the candidates introduce themselves and discuss who should be awarded. The interviews take place in groups of ten. Diversity is the main feature of the candidate pool, ranging from teenagers, college students and working people to former teachers, retired professionals, housewives, mums and grannies. They all share the dream of being part of the Jury for Rome’s first great cinema event. Moviemaker or scriptwriter or actor wannabees, moviegoers, film poster collectors or simple, normal audience members, they are different in age, gender, background or job experience but united by one thing: their love for cinema.
When it comes time to decide, it’s not one’s knowledge of cinema that counts, but the ability to work on a team, to define the awarding criteria clearly, to create a consensus around one’s own opinion while respecting everyone else’s. Without interfering with the discussions, great attention to what’s being said has been paid by the members of the committee: Angela Prudenzi, film critic; Flavio De Bernardinis, professor of cinematography at La Sapienza University – Rome, and Ettore Scola himself. The great Italian director, creator of such masterpieces as We all loved each other so much (C’eravamo tanto amati), A special day (Una giornata particolare), Ugly, dirty and bad (Brutti sporchi e cattivi) and many more, is taking part in the difficult job of choosing the members of the jury. At a pace of three meetings a day in one week, Scola has sat at a table with the candidates, getting acquainted with them, asking about many aspects of their life, listening to their discussions and, finally, along with the committee, he has put a jury together. Scola, who will spend one week with them from October 13th to the 21st, is especially concerned about the seriousness and confidentiality a festival jury must feature. “At Cannes the Jury is taken away to a nearby isolated village where they’re kept locked away for the whole festival; here we won’t be so strict.”