The Rome line-up, announced Tuesday, includes a slew of awards-season titles from the U.S., including Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit, Craig Gillespie’s I, Tonya, Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying, Steven Soderbergh’s Logan Lucky, Dee Rees’ Mudbound, Marc Webb’s The Only Living Boy in New York, David Gordon Green’s Stronger, and Matthew Newton’s Who We Are Now.
As previously announced, Scott Cooper’s Western genre film Hostiles will open the fest. The film is already picking up Oscar buzz for star Christian Bale.
Other highlights in Rome this year include Eugene Jarecki’s Promised Land, Sally Potter’s The Party, Janus Metz’ Borg vs. McEnroe, Julia Solomonoff’s Nobody’s Watching, and Tom Volf’s documentary Maria by Callas, In Her Own Words.
The first two episodes of the highly-anticipated TV series Babylon Berlin by Tom Tykwer, Henk Handloegten and Achim von Borries will have their Italian premiere at the festvial. The big-budget crime show set in 1920s Germany has already been snatched up by Netflix for the U.S.
David Lynch will receive the Rome lifetime achievement award 40 years after the release of his first feature film, Eraserhead. Lynch will speak with festival director Antonio Monda in the festival’s “Close Encounters” series about the three films that have influenced him the most, including Federico Fellini’s 8 ½.
Other guests for the “Close Encounters” series include Xavier Dolan, Jake Gyllenhaal, Phil Jackson, Ian McKellen, Nanni Moretti, Michael Nyman, Chuck Palahniuk, Vanessa Redgrave and Christoph Waltz.
Redgrave will also present her directorial debut, a documentary about child refugees, Sea Sorrow, which premiered in Cannes. McKellen will present a new documentary on his life, directed by Joe Stephenson, McKellen: Playing the Part.
In total, some 39 films and documentaries will screen in the official selection at Rome, which also features several audience-friendly events including an interactive cinema exhibition at Fendi’s Palazzo della Civilta Italiana headquarters and a screening series inside Rome’s Rebibbia Prison. There is no official competition in Rome, although the audience will vote for a people’s choice award.
“The Rome Film Fest is now an event to place your bets on: a showcase in demand, at which the best films to come out of the last decade or so have been and continue to be seen,” said festival director Monda, who has just been confirmed for three more years at Rome’s helm after helping to increase ticket sales 18 percent last year.