A war of words has erupted between two Italian film festivals about a planned appearance by Nicole Kidman.
Kidman, who will attend the opening of her film Fur at the Rome Cinemafest on October 13, has attracted the ire of Venice Film Festival organisers.
The director of the Venice Film Festival, Marco Muller, has claimed neither his festival or Cannes wanted Kidman’s film anyway.
“I’ve got no fear of the Rome Cinemafest because they are only screening films that neither Cannes nor Venice wanted,” Muller told reporters, after Rome organisers broke an agreement by announcing their film line-up ahead of the Venice event.
Despite the Venetian claims, Fur is one of the most anticipated films of the year and considered a major coup for the Rome event. The film centres on the story of real-life photographer Diane Arbus.
The Italian film fight has erupted because the Rome festival is a newly established event that is positioning itself as a direct rival to the Venice festival, which began in 1932.
While Venice has long been the host of Italy’s oldest and most prestigious event, Italian commentators say the Rome festival is an exciting new development for fans. Kidman has long been a supporter of emerging festival events.
Perhaps keen to distance herself from the in-fighting between the film festivals, Kidman has declared her passion for Italy as a nation.
“I love Italy and I feel great affinity with it,” she told reporters. “I am especially proud to be christening this important event [in Rome].”
The Venice festival began last week, with a program of big-name world premieres including The Black Dahlia starring Scarlett Johansson and Hilary Swank. Hugh Jackman’s new film, The Fountain, will also screen at the event.