Open-air film festival to swap Piazza S. Cosimato for Rome's suburbs.Rome's popular open-air Festival Trastevere Rione del Cinema is leaving its base at Piazza S. Cosimato for three locations in the suburbs following a high-profile dispute with the city's deputy mayor and culture councillor Luca Bergamo of the Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S).
Organisers I Ragazzi del Cinema America say their departure is down to Bergamo's insistence that the festival space in Piazza di S. Cosimato be put out to tender this summer, with a reduced time-frame, under the city's Estate Romana programme of events.
This move was resisted strongly by the Ragazzi del Cinema America whose president Valerio Carocci said Bergamo "decided in a totally arbitrary way, simply for electoral motives, to take Piazza S. Cosimato away from us".
The free annual festival, whose programme often includes prestigious movie directors and actors, now becomes Il Cinema in Piazza, with a total of 185 screenings at its three new locations between 1 June and 12 September. The festival will divide its programme between the Porto Turistico di Roma marina in the Ostia coastal district, Monte Ciocci at Valle Aurelia in the Cipro area of the city, and the Casale della Cervelletta in the far-eastern suburb of Tor Sapienza.
Bergamo has defended his stance, saying he does not know why the organisers should “travel a different path to the 80 other associations participating in Estate Romana.”The president of Municipio 1 Sabrina Alfonsi, of the Partito Democratico, said that Piazza di S. Cosimato has "lost a wonderful cultural experience" and that the neighbourhood has been left “almost in mourning.”
For more details about the film festival, run by a team of enthusiastic young volunteers, see website and Facebook page.