Ten thousand tickets were sold in the first two days of tickets going on sale for the first Rome film festival that will take place from 13 to 21 October. Sales have initially been limited to films that will be shown at the Auditorium-Parco della Musica and at the Metropolitan cinema on Via del Corso. From 16 October, films will also be shown outside the central circuit of the festival, at venues in the suburbs and the province as a whole among those participating will be Cineland Multisala di Ostia and the UGC Cin Cin Parco Leonardo. Films from Belgium, the UK, Turkey, Argentina, Iran, Russia and Japan are among those that will be on show.

The festival is due to open on the evening of 12 October with a concert of music written for the cinema by Italian musicians at the Ara Coeli which will be conducted by Riccardo Muti. On 13 October the festival begins in earnest with the Scottish actor Sean Connery receiving the Premier Acting Award at the Sala Sinopoli at the Auditorium, Parco della Musica. Connery has been invited to choose 14 of his films that will go to make up the first three-day retrospective. Among those he has picked are a film from the year 2000, Finding Forrester , the 1964 Hitchcock movie Marnie, and a single Bond film, From Russia with love. Connery has said that he is very honoured to have been chosen for this first award, particularly as Rome has offered so much to the international cinema.

There will be awards for best director and actor and actress who will be chosen by a jury chosen by Ettore Scola from more than 3,500 applicants, not famous people from the world of the cinema but film enthusiasts. The festival will close with a concert by the orchestra of S. Cecila conducted by Antonio Pappano.

Tickets costing 3-10 depending on the venue can be bought online from www.listicket.it or by calling 199109783. They are also available from the Auditorium-Parco della Musica box office in Viale de Coubertin and will go on sale from a temporary box office in Piazza del Popolo from 12 October. For more information on the programme of the festival see www.romacinemafest.org.