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Tuesday, October 30---------The second edition of the Cinema: Rome Filmfest was, by all accounts, a smashing success. Not only was there a ferocious public response but the industry gave the event a thumbs up as well. Those who stood on the sidelines and wondered if a film festival would be accepted by the Rome public and if the industry needed yet another film event on the busy Fall film calendar, were in agreement that the Festival delivered.
Yes, there were the inevitable glitches.....a few press screenings started nearly 30 minutes too early or too late, some communications went strangely awry, the Festival bus that linked theaters sometimes would skip a stop or two for no apparent reason......and then there was the maddening screening of the Sophia Loren-starrer TWO WOMEN at the Casa del Cinema that switched reels 4 and 5 out of sequence (which made for plot confusion and a lessening of appreciation of both Ms. Loren and Mr. De Sica's formidable talents).
But this is a film festival......in other words, a live event, which is prone to the occasional disaster. The important point is that the Festival organizers have, in just two scant years, added an event of central importance to the local cultural calendar, and have also given quality films an opportunity to be recognized and appreciated on the world stage. This is no trivial point, since these are exactly the type of films that need all the support that can be mustered.
For its embrace of difficult films, its appreciation of the intelligence of its audiences, its professional handling of the press and industry, the Rome FilmFest gets high marks from this fiilm festival veteran. It is an event with staying power that has a strong future ahead of it. While I only spent five days in the Eternal City, I was duly impressed and taken by the excitement and the energy that the Festival was able to conjure. I hope to be able to return, if only to be able to again say, Arriverderci Roma.
Sandy Mandelberger, Rome Film Festival Dailies Editor
The Bulletin Board
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