Nicole Kidman, Monica Bellucci and Viggo Mortensen are among the stars headlining the first edition of the Rome Film Festival.
The festival, which will run Oct. 13-21, opens with the world premiere of Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diana Arus, starring Kidman. The movie is being shown out of competition.
“This film is a paradigm. It has everything you can think of for an opening film,” said Piera Detassis, a member of the festival’s board of directors.
Bellucci stars in N (Io e Napoleone) or N (Napoleon and I) and Le Concile de pierre or The Stone Council, both being shown out of competition. Mortensen appears in Alatriste, a movie about a soldier living in 17th-century Spain.
The Rome festival, which presented its lineup Tuesday, has caused strains after the decision to launch it after the venerable Venice Film Festival, which closed its 63rd edition earlier this month.
However, authorities have sought to downplay the controversy, and Venice Festival Director Davide Croff sat in the audience during Tuesday’s presentation.
“Venice was a splendid exhibit, and I hope Rome will be a big party,” Rome Mayor Walter Veltroni said. “Thanks to Venice and Rome, we would have talked about cinema for two months.”
Also premiering at the festival, but showing out of competition, is India’s Mira Nair’s “The Namesake,” a movie about an Indian family moving to New York City.
Among the 16 movies competing for the best movie award are Iranian Niki Karimi’s Chand rooz ba’d … (A few days later …) and Shane Meadows’ This Is England.
The festival — mainly held at the city’s Auditorium, an exhibition and concert center designed by architect Renzo Piano — also will feature a documentary section and one dedicated to movies for or about children and teenagers.