ROMAFICTIONFEST | November 12nd | The RomaFictionFest presents the first four series in competition: from the gothic overtones of Glitch to the tales of love and loss, envy and riches in Capital; from Jo Nesbø’s imaginary future in Occupied to the future of the unemployed masses in “Trepalium”
Day two of the RomaFictionFest showcases the first four series in competition. Tomorrow, Thursday, November 12, at 9 pm in Theater 5 at the Cinema Adriano, the contest starts with the screening of the first episode of Glitch, a TV drama series about human emotions and the meaning of life, the brainchild of writer/director Tony Ayres. Gothic overtones and a gloomy atmosphere form the backdrop to goings-on in a forlorn country town, Yoorana, where six people come back to life on an ordinary night and for no particular reason, with no memory at all of their previous lives and the sole desire to find out who they are and what happened to them. The series, a sort of Australian version of The Returned, will be presented to Roman audiences by the screenwriter and producer Louise Fox.
Theater 3 will be hosting the other series in competition. First up at 2:30 pm, the premiere of Capital, multiple-award-winning screenwriter Peter Bowker’s adaptation of the critically acclaimed bestseller of the same name by John Lanchester. The miniseries starring top UK actors Gemma Jones and Toby Jones (recently seen Matteo Garrone’s Tale of Tales) brings a multiethnic middle-class world to the small screen, in a hard look at the UK today. Next up at 4:30, Occupied, based on an idea by Jo Nesbø, one of the world’s most famous thriller writers, whose books have been translated into 47 languages. The series depicts a near future in which the Russians have invaded Norway and kidnap the prime minister. And at 6:30, the trio is rounded out by the screening of the first episode of Trepalium, set in a future in which extreme measures are taken to cope with unemployment. Its director, Vincent Lannoo, whose film titles include Little Glory and Vampires, will meet fans on the red carpet at 6:30, together with executive producer Katia Raïs.
Meanwhile, at 5 pm in Theater 6, the RomaFictionFest – in a joint collaboration with Samanta Sollima, Stefano Sollima and Rai Archives– is putting on a special event to honor Sergio Sollima, the great Roman filmmaker who died last summer at the age of 94. After the screening of the first episode of his legendary 1976 series Sandokan, which will be followed on Friday by a marathon viewing of the entire series, there will be a talk with his children Stefano and Samanta, who share the stage with the stars of that extraordinary television adventure: Kabir Bedi, Carole André, Philippe Leroy, and Andrea Giordana; as well as Guido and Maurizio De Angelis (the musical duo Oliver Onion), who wrote the music for the series and its famous theme song, a cult song today; along with producer Federico Scardamaglia, the grandson of Elio Scardamaglia, whom the former accompanied on film shoots for the series in India, Malaysia and Thailand.
At 5 pm in Theater 4, a masterclass will be held by Iginio Straffi, creator of the animated series WinxClub, a favorite with young audiences, and founder of the “Rainbow” Studio, founded in 1995 to produce multimedia programs for children; the studio quickly became a world leader in animation. On the occasion of his masterclass, Straffi will be receiving the RomaFictionFest Excellence Award Produzione Kids & Teens, and also presenting the premiere of his new series My American Friend and The Royal Academy . He’ll discuss his partnership with Netflix and explain how animation works by showing sequences featuring 2D, 3D and CGI.
At 8 pm in Theater 5 at the Cinema Adriano, the French actor and director Jalil Lespert, who directed the biopic Yves Saint Laurent seen at the Berlin Film Festival, will team up with actor George Blagden (Vikings, Les Misérables, After the Dark) to treat Fest audiences to the first episode of Versailles: the series starring Blagden, screening out of competition, recounts the young Louis XIV’s rise to power as a sort of 17th-century rock star in a world of court intrigue, romantic passion, betrayal and declarations of war.
And for the non-competitive lineup Theater 4 will be hosting the first episode of 10% Call My Agent!, the miniseries directed by Cédric Klapisch, among others, and starring Cécile de France. It’s an inside look at France’s most famous talent agency and its daily trials and tribulations managing its stars.
The screening will be preceded by the awards ceremony for the Premio Telegatto Speciale and the Premio Carlo Bixio. The former prize will be handed out by Aldo Vitali, editor of TV Sorrisi e Canzoni, to two actors: Miriam Leone, the eclectic star of several popular and critically acclaimed TV series, and Marco Bocci, the versatile actor known for his impeccable performances in TV series like Squadra Antimafia, which has racked up some of the year’s highest ratings.
The Premio Carlo Bixio for Best Original Screenplay for a TV Series or TV Movie will be assigned by a jury composed of Ivan Cotroneo, Graziano Diana, Leonardo Ferrara, Francesca Galiani, Riccardo Milani, and Francesco Vicario, with Gabriella Campennì Bixio as president. The short list of the five finalists is as follows: Coming Out by Cristina Nucera, Il cavaliere errante by Pierpaolo De Mejo, In caso di incendio by Francesco Caronna, Miranda&Io by Gianluca Argentero, and Strangers by Alessandra Pomilio.
The program for the second day of the RomaFictionFest includes a series of screenings devoted to Nordic Noir, a taste of the best Scandinavian crime series in the fest’s Serial Crime section. Denmark weighs in at 6:30 pm in Theater 7, with the first episode of Norskov, set in a port city in northern Jutland, where a drug epidemic among the young hinders the mayor’s plans for giving the city a new lease on life. Norskov will be followed by another Danish show, Follow the Money, this time set in the world of high finance, the stock market and the executive headquarters where speculators and tycoons wheel and deal and crime syndicates are busy laundering their illegal gains. Last up, at 9:30 pm, Acquitted, the Norwegian psycho-social thriller that revolves around a young broker forced to return to his native country after two decades in Asia, to save a sustainable energy company from bankruptcy.
Earlier in the day, at 4:30, Theater 7 will be hosting the South Korean series Bad Guys, with its Asian gangster movie esthetic, while at 2:30, in the Period Drama section, Jekyll & Hyde revisits the classic tale with a script by acclaimed screenwriter Charlie Higson , who reworks the icon story of good and evil as an elegant fantasy adventure. Tom Bateman plays a novel Dr. Jekyll, part dandy from the colonial days, part-Hulk.
Morning events include the second part of the Bando Creativi Digitali – Progetto Zero conference at 10 am in Theater 5 at the Cinema Adriano, devoted to the public competition established in 2013 by the Lazio Region, to support startups of audiovisual projects by young people under 35. At the same time in Theater 6, the first TV movies in the Fantastica RAI retrospective organized jointly with the Rai Archives will be screened; this group is part of the famous series called Il Fascino dell’Insolito and includes two films by Biagio Proietti, La casa della follia, followed by Miriam.
At 10:30, the first event featuring screenings reserved for schools and the education sector kicks off in Theater 4 with the screening of the TV movie Lea by Marco Tullio Giordana, with three of its stars on hand for the occasion: Vanessa Scalera, Alessio Praticò, and Linda Caridi.