International jury to judge at Rome Film Festival

MUMBAI: An international jury of famous personalities from the world of cinema and art will judge the films competing at the fourth edition of the International Rome Film Festival from 15-23 October, 2009. This new formation replaces the critic’s jury.

This is one of the main innovations at the upcoming festival, introduced in the event’s spirit of "All cinema for everyone". The news was announced by the festival president Gian Luigi Rondi, during his meeting with the Founders’ Board (made up Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno; Regione Lazio president Piero Marrazzo; Provincia di Roma president Nicola Zingaretti; Camera di Commercio di Roma acting president Lorenzo Tagliavanti; Fondazione Musica per Roma CEO Carlo Fuortes), which met at the headquarters of the Fondazione Cinema per Roma yesterday.

"The Official Selection", clarified Rondi, "will screen films by great directors and with outstanding performances. The extra section will focus on avant-garde cinema researching new directions in filmmaking language, with feature length works and documentaries. There will be a special, innovative project to spark off a discussion about the environment and cinema’s committed support in this area. Finally the Alice nella Città section will concentrate on children’s cinema, with films divided into two distinct groups, one for kids aged up to 12 and one for those up to 17 years old, with a separate jury for each age range".

Recent limits imposed on the 2009 budget mean the festival’s retrospectives and the Fondazione Cinema per Roma’s permanent activities have been put on hold. In order to keep up the impetus created by the previous three editions, and to avoid any slowdown, Rondi urged Mayor Alemanno to formalise his proposal of no limits to private contributions, as well as agreeing to the possibility that founding members could increase their annual grant. Alemanno immediately gave a verbal commitment that there would be no ceiling on private contributions.

Regione Lazio president Marrazzo, then disclosed that he would ensure the Regione’s contribution to the festival.

Rondi expressed his gratitude for the announcements, and said he could begin to visualize the re-start of the permanent activities programme and re-instigation of the retrospectives section, which have always been one of the festival’s mainstays.