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Friday Festival Frenzy: Rome and Chicago

cff.JPGTwo fests half a globe away from each other announced their lineups this week, and if you can make it to either, you're in for a treat.

Billing itself as a "festival for the public," Rome's first international film festival is openly shunning the elitism of Venice. With a city-festival atmosphere, over 200 films will screen beginning October 13. Four U.S. films are among those in international competition, including Fur, the festival's opener. The Departed is set for a special engagement, and a tribute to Sean Connery is in the plans. Sixteen films will contend in the main competition, and in an effort to put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, the jury in Rome is made of 50 ordinary filmgoers. No industry folks in sight. Italian director Ettore Scola will supervise the group. READ

After the lineup was made public, Rome's mayor Walter Veltroni, a movie-buff himself, visited New York to garner support from Robert De Niro and his Tribeca Film Festival. The two plan to swap films and promote each other's efforts throughout the year. READ

If you're headed to Rome, let me know. I fit snugly in most suitcases.

A week before the Festa del Cinema kicks off in Rome, Chicago will find itself in the thick of things, too. The 42nd Chicago Film Festival runs October 5 - 19; that lineup includes a vast range of features, docs and special engagements in sixteen different categories. Stranger than Fiction opens the fest, Venus closes, and A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints is in main competition. Docs include Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing and Summercamp!; The Queen, Paris, je t'aime and The Fountain are all screening, and the Festival Centerpiece this year is Alejandro González Iñárritu's Babel.

If you're even close to the Windy City, check out the site to see when and where you can catch any of these or the other 145 films set to screen.

Posted by on September 29, 2006 3:41 PM
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