The first edition of theRome Film Fest kicked off today with Steven Shainberg's Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus,starring Nicole Kidman.
Kidman's presence on openingday amplified the glamour quotient of the inaugural festival, plugged from itsinception as a people's "festa" or party.
Director Shainberg andKidman filed into the Santa Cecilia concert hall inside the Renzo Piano-designedauditorium for the first informal "press meeting," which took placein the same location as the screening.
Kidman waxed philosophicalon matters from fidelity to divorce, creativity and nudity declaring "it seemsa bit strange to be sitting on a stage discussing these things but hey, here wego." Kidman then admitted she was embarrassed for speaking too candidly.
"We tried to establishsomething that is different from the traditional press conference and encouragea personal and free attitude," Fest general director Giorgio Gosetti told ScreenDaily.com from his office,"so we are happy when we accomplish it, since it corresponds to ouraim."
With Fur featured in
Inspired by Patricia Bosworth'sbiography of photographer Diane Arbus, the Picturehouse-New Line releasefocuses on the relationship between Arbus and a mentor (Robert Downey Jr.) whohelped liberate the budding artist from the limits of a 1950s happy, but conventionalmarriage - freeing her to become one of the 20th century's mostinfluential photographers.
For a "popular festival"
In a nod to
Rome's Sezione Cinema (with16 in competition films and three out-of-competition screenings) does showcasestrong directors like Patrick Tam whose Afterthis an exile is the director's first film in 13 years; cult directorTsukamoto Shinya's horror NightmareDetective (co-premiering in Pusan) and Georgian-French director OtarIosseliani's Jardins en Automne.
The only last-minute changesto the Fest's program are in honor of director Gillo Pontecorvo, who died in
A screening of his classic1966 The Battle OfAlgiers will be added, and film composer Ennio Morricone's Saturday nightconcert will reflect a line-up of Pontecorvo-related themes. A finalretrospective of a great Italian director - a planned but yet to be unveiledevent - will now be devoted to late director.
On a bitter sweet note,Gosetti added, "Both Teresa and I worked under Gillo when he directed the
The first Rome Film Festruns through Oct 21 with the inaugural film market running Oct 14-16. Thefestival has sold 45,000 tickets with two sections -