The new Rome Film Fest (Oct 13-21)has announced its Alice in the City sidebar for children and young adults.

The 16 feature films incompetition include Doug Atchison's spelling-bee drama Akeelah And The Bee, Jeremy Brock's UK coming-of-age story Driving Lessons and Michel Ocelot's animated fable Azur et Asmar. The selection alsoincludes two films which premiered at Rome's festival partner Tribeca earlier this year, Morgan J Freeman's Just Like The Son and Zackary Adler's I'm Reed Fish.

Among the world premieresare Salvatore, Buena Vista Italia'sfirst all-Italian production, which screens out of competition. Directed byfirst-timer Gian Paolo Cugno, and starring Giancarlo Giannini and Enrico LoVerso, the film tells the story of the realtionship between a disadvantaged Sicilianboy and a Roman schoolteacher. Also debuting at Rome is Jem'appelle Elisabeth, the seventh feature by French director Jean-PierreAmeris.

The films in competitionwill be judged by a 150-strong youth jury, with a $6402 (Euros 5000) prize goingto the winning film and another $2561 (Euros 2000) award for a "specialmention" runner-up.

Other out-of-competitionItalian premieres include Sony Pictures animation Open Season, which is released in the US on Sept 29.

The rest of the Rome programme will be announced on Tuesday, Sept 26.Among films already confirmed are festival opener Fur, Steven Shainberg's biopic of photographer Diane Arbus, whichstars Nicole Kidman; Mira Nair's integration drama The Namesake; and N,Italian director Paolo Virzi's study of Napoleon's exile on Elba, which stars Daniel Auteuil.

Other films considered to besure bets for the gala "Premiere" section of the Rome festival include MartinScorsese's The Departed and GiuseppeTornatore's first film in five years, TheStranger (La Sconosciuta), an emotional noir centring on an au pair fromEastern Europe who lives in the Italian border town of Trieste.

As announced, Rome will share two world premieres in acooperation with the Pusan International Film Festival: Hong Kong auteur Patrick Tam's After ThisOur Exile, which had been hotly tipped for Venice; and Shinya Tsukomoto's Nightmare Detective.

Alice in the City sidebar


Akeelah And The Bee, Doug Atchison

Vitus, FrediM. Murer

A Year In My Life, Daniel Duval

Azur et Asmar, Michel Ocelot,

U, SergeElissalde & Gregoire Solotareff

Liscio, ClaudioAntonini

Je m'appelle Elisabeth, Jean-Pierre Ameris

Brave Story,Koichi Chigira

Love And Dance, Eitan Anner

Driving Lessons, Jeremy Brock

Two Sons Of Francisco, Breno Silveira

Red Needles,Jean-Francois Davy

Swimmers, DougSadler

Triple Dare,Christina Rosendahl

Just Like The Son, Morgan J Freeman

I'm Reed Fish, Zackary Adler

Out OfCompetition

Over The Hedge, Tim Johnson & Karey Kirkpatrick

Rosso come il cielo, Cristiano Bortone

Primi amori primi vizi primi baci, Eric Toledano & Olivier Nakache

Salvatore,Gian Paolo Cugno

Open Season,Roger Allers, Jill Culton & Anthony Stacchi