The Rome Film Festival reverts to its original October slot from November, where it has been for the last two seasons, and takes places as usual at the Auditorium Parco della Musica. The ninth edition of the festival is a slimmed-down version compared to previous years, according to Marco Müller, now in the third and final year of his contract as artistic director. The biggest changes will see most of the prizes being awarded based on audience votes – not an international jury – while the festival's focus is on the work of "emerging" directors.
The 2014 Rome festival will screen 40 feature films in a new set of competitive sections which comprise Cinema d’Oggi featuring both emerging and well-established directors; Gala for more popular mainstream movies; Mondo Genre including a mixture of genre films; and Prospettive Italia showing new trends in Italian films and documentaries. Returning to the festival are the independent Alice nella Città side-bar event for youth-oriented films; the Lifetime Achievement Award; and the Maverick Director Award.
Highlights of the English-language films include the European premiere of Time Out of Mind by Oren Moverman and starring Richard Gere and Jena Malone; the international premiere of Trash by Stephen Daldry, with Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen; the international premiere of Love, Rosie by Christian Ditter, with Lily Collins and Sam Claflin; the European premiere of Black and White by Mike Binder, Kevin Costner and Gillian Jacobs; and the European premiere of Stonehearst Asylum by Brad Anderson, starring Kate Beckinsale, Jim Sturgess, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine and Brendan Gleeson.
This year's Maverick Director Award will go to the Japanese director, screenwriter, actor, and film producer Takashi Miike whose latest film, Kamisama no iutoori (As the Gods Will), will have its world premiere in Rome.
Influential 1980s band Spandau Ballet will also be at the festival to present Soul Boys of the Western World by George Hencken, a documentary about the English group synonymous with the New Romantic movement. The five original members of the band – Tony Hadley, Steve Norman, John Keeble, Martin and Gary Kemp – will walk the red carpet on 20 October.
Ticket sales start on 9 October, for full details see website.