Competition features 15 films including Babycall starring Noomi Rapace.

The International Rome Film Festival seems to be hitting its stride with this, its sixth edition as it continues to offer a cross section of crowd- pleasing films accompanied by a strong roster of international stars.

Artistic director Piera Detassis on Thursday presented her line up at a packed Rome news conference flanked by the directors of the festival’s various sections.

Completing the names on her international jury – Detassis announced today Oscar-winning director Susanne Bier, producer David Puttnam, actress Deborah Winger, actress and director Carmen Chaplin, dancer Roberto Bolle and visual artist and director Pierre Thoretton would join Ennio Morricone, who, as previously announced, heads the jury this edition.

Detassis underscored that many film’s protagonists — in particular the female ones — would be making the trek to walk down Rome’s red carpet.

Unveiling a slim 15-film competition line up plus nine out of competition official selection features, competition titles this year include Norwegian director Pal Sletaune’s Babycall [pictured] starring Noomi Rapace about a single mother who moves to a secret address to get away from her violent husband, with Rapace attending to promote the film.

A trio of Toronto launched films have found a place in Rome for their European unveilings: Fred Schepisi’s The Eye Of The Storm, starring Geoffrey Rush as the son to a dying matriarch played by Charlotte Rampling, with the actress attending. Kristin Scott Thomas will attend the opening of Pawel Pawlikowski’s The Woman In The Fifth and Maggie Gyllenhaal will be on hand for vibrator comedy Hysteria from Tanya Wexler.

From the US, Jaffe Zinn’s Magic Valley comes to Rome after a Tribeca launch this spring.

In its world premiere, Italian director Roberto Faenza’s English-language adaptation of Peter Cameron’s novel Someday This Pain Will Be Useful To You with principle cast UK actor Tony Regbo and Marcia Gay Harden expected on the red carpet for the film’s out of competition premiere (as previously reported by ScreenDaily).

Other out of competition films include Luc Besson’s The Lady, Aung San Suu Kyi’s life story starring Michelle Yeoh, also on hand in Rome as will be Olivia Newton John for Stephan Elliott’s A Few Best Men. Giuliano Montaldo’s The Industrialist about a northern Italian powerhouse family with resonances of the Fiat story, starring Pierfrancesco Favino and Carolina Crescentini will also be unveiled out of competition.

An additional four Italian pictures have been selected for competition including newcomer and much talked about debut of Pippo Mezzapesa’s Puglia set Il Paese Delle Spose Infelici/Annalisa, produced by Domenico Procacci, Pupi Avati’s The Big Heart Of Girls, set in the central Marche region, Ivan Cotroneo’s Naples-set Kryptonite In Her Bag starring Valeria Golino and Marina Spada’s Milan set My Tomorrow providing an array of perspectives on Italy from North to South.

While Rome’s dates do not leave them a plethora of world premieres to choose from, the season is potentially very good for those distributors aiming to launch (foreign) fare here just as Italy gets into its strongest box office season, not a small consideration considering that local film’s strong performances continue to shape the market and niche foreign fare needs all the help it can get.

Asia is represented in competition by Love For Life by Gu Changwei from China staring Zhang Ziyi while Juhn Jaihong represents South Korea with the film Poongsan and Spanish director Sebastian Borensztein brings the Asian themed Chinese Take Away.

French fare includes My Worst Nightmare with Isabelle Huppert, also attending the festival for the out of competition slot.

The competition is rounded out with Cedric Kahn’s A Better Life and Claude Miller’s See How They Dance (a co-production with Canada and Switzerland) finally Leander Hausmann brings a German-Russia co production Hotel Lux.

Italians will also get a glimpse of My Week With Marilyn, a late entry out of competition, Detassis announced today. A digital 4k restoration of Blake Edwards’ Breakfast At Tiffany’s in celebration of the film’s 50th anniversary will also be on view thanks to Nexo Digital in a gala slot.

Organizers said over all that 27 countries are represented in this edition’s line up.

Roberto Cicutto, who oversees the festival’s industry initiatives, The Business Street and New Cinema Network (Oct 27-31), general manager Francesca Via, Gianluca Giannelli for Alice in the City, Mario Sesti of the Extra section and Gaia Morrione’s Focus section which this year is on the UK (as previously announced on Screen Daily) were also on hand to talk up their sections.

Sesti is also responsible for special events, which this year include a masterclass with Michael Mann, and pre-festival meeting with Penelope Cruz and Sergio Castellitto who are currently shooting their second project, entitled Twice Born, together, while actor Richard Gere will pick up this year’s Marc’Aurelio acting award.

Rome’s festival budget is at $17m (E12.5m) for this edition, while the Business Street lost $550,000 (E400,000) in funds (bringing their budget down to $1.2m (E900,000) from $1.7m (E1.3m) when the Italian trade commission shuttered in June, as part of the Italian government’s austerity measures.

But the section has maintained its venues and not cut any events including a dinner party at Rome’s MAXXI museum for attendees of the New Cinema network and Business Street.

The International Rome Film Festival runs Oct 27-Nov 4.