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Nicole Kidman set to open inaugural RomeFilmFest

Nicole Kidman is set to open the first edition of the RomeFilmFest. The Australian actress will be presenting the world premiere of Fur, by American director Steven Shainberg, at the grand opening gala on October 13th (at 20:00) in the Santa Cecilia Hall at the Auditorium Parco della Musica.
“I love Italy, a country with which I feel a great affinity”, said Nicole Kidman, “and I am particularly proud to be present at the baptism of this important FilmFest”.
Fur, based on the book ‘Diane Arbus – A Biography’ by Patricia Bosworth, is produced and distributed internationally by New Line Cinema and released in Italy by Nexo. This mixture of a biopic with imaginary fiction looks at the intense life of American photographer Diane Arbus, an icon of modern photography. She knew how to scandalize, following her burning passion for the mysterious and the extreme to photograph a world of diversity, populated by dwarves, transvestites, the homeless and the mentally ill. The film shows the moment of rebellion that led Arbus to leave her middle-class family of wealthy furriers to follow Lionel (Robert Downey Jr.), an enigmatic man who hides behind a mask and introduces her to the world of freaks.
Another major star taking part in the RomeFilmFest is the internationally famous Italian actress Monica Bellucci. She is in N by Paolo Virzì, being shown as a world first in the Première section. This costume drama is produced by Cattleya and distributed by Medusa Film in Italy and by M6 internationally. The story is set on the island of Elba in 1814 during Napoleon’s exile. The emperor is played by Daniel Auteuil, one of the best-known French actors in the world today.
N is about Martino (Elio Germano), a young, anti-Napoleonic teacher in love with Baroness Emilia (Monica Bellucci). The young man ends up appointed as librarian to the French emperor himself. Martino collates the ruler’s memoirs and finally learns to appreciate the man behind the hero.
The third major production in the Première section will be The Namesake by the great Indian director Mira Nair, starring Kal Penn, Irfan Khan and Tabu. Based on the novel by Pulitzer prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, the film describes the difficulties of an Indian family who move from Calcutta to New York, trying to integrate into their new world without forgetting their roots.
As already announced, another major star in Rome will be Sean Connery. He is being given the Acting Award, established by the RomeFilmFest to celebrate great contemporary performers.
Running in the main competition for the prize awarded by the popular jury led by Ettore Scola is A casa nostra by Francesca Comencini starring Valeria Golino and Luca Zingaretti. It is produced by Bianca Film and RAI Cinema with a contribution from the Italian Ministry of Culture, and released by 01 Distribution. Also competing is Jardins en automne by Otar Iosseliani with Michel Piccoli and Sèverin Blanchet. This picture is produced by Martine and Maurice Marignac, with Les Films du Losange handling international distribution and Mikado overseeing its Italian release.
The winners in the categories of Best Film, Best Actor and Best Actress will be given the Marco Aurelio prize made by the jewelers Bulgari.
Looking to the 5th edition of the children’s film festival, Alice in the City, now incorporated as an integral part of the RomeFilmFest, and the official competitive selection will include Akeelah and the bee by Dough Atchison. This film starring Laurence Fishburne, Angela Bassett and Keke Palmer is being distributed worldwide by Lionsgate. Also competing is Vitus by Fredi M. Murer featuring Bruno Ganz, with international distribution being handled by Media Luna Entertainment.
In the Extra category, the non-competitive section examining the ‘hidden territories’ of cinema in all its forms, there’s the premiere of Fascisti su Marte by Corrado Guzzanti, a sci-fi satire imagining a fascist space ship taking control of the red planet, Mars. The many documentaries include the entertaining Air Guitar Nation, about the festival to award the world’s best fake rock guitarist. There is also the rare Reminiscenze su Sayat Nova: almost half-an-hour of extraordinary images by the Armenian director Sergej Paradzanov rediscovered in the archives. Extra will also feature works exploring the art of filmmaking, like Uomini forti by Stefano Della Casa. In this film produced by the Istituto Luce, the author interviews body-builders who have worked in the cinema, illustrating the stages in the production of popular mythological films.

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