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Bill Murray at the screening of Wes Anderson's'Isle of Dogs' at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on March 20, 2018.
Bill Murray at the screening of Wes Anderson’s ‘Isle of Dogs’ at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on March 20, 2018.

Artistic Director Antonio Monda today made several announcements on the fourteenth Rome Film Fest, which will take place from October 17th to 27th 2019.

Like every year, ample space will be dedicated to the Close Encounters with directors, actors and leading figures in the world of art and culture. The first names announced include Olivier Assayas, Bret Easton Ellis, Ron Howard, Kore-eda Hirokazu, Bertrand Tavernier and Bill Murray who will be presented the Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Bill Murray | Lifetime Achievement Award

The fourteenth Rome Film Fest will celebrate Bill Murray, one of the most beloved actors in the world, by awarding him the Lifetime Achievement Award, to be presented by Wes Anderson, who has directed him in some of his most iconic roles. On that occasion, Bill Murray will take part in a Close Encounter, an onstage conversation during which he will review the most important events of his cinematic career. After his brilliant debut in television – as a star of “Saturday Night Live” – and the international success of Ghostbusters, over the years the American actor has achieved distinction as the refined protagonist of memorable cult movies, including Groundhog Day by Harold Ramis, Ed Wood by Tim Burton, Broken Flowers by Jim Jarmusch and Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola, which won him a Golden Globe, a Bafta and an Oscar® nomination. His long-time collaboration with Wes Anderson has been remarkable and includes eight features: Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Aquatic Adventures of Steve Zissou, The Train for Darjeeling, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Moonrise Kingdom, Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs.

Olivier Assayas

The French director is the auteur of an intense and compelling opus, focusing on the narrative and on the psychological complexity of characters. Olivier Assayas has tread across diverse territories, from the representation of childhood and adolescence (L’eau froide, Winter’s Child) to a study on cinema and its many different styles (Irma Vep), spanning from great costume productions (Les Destinées sentimentales) to TV series (Golden Globe winner Carlos). Assayas will attend an onstage conversation and talk about the Nouvelle Vague and his experience as a film critic for the Cahiers du Cinéma.

Bret Easton Ellis

As one of the leading figures in world literature, Bret Easton Ellis has written a series of bestsellers that have left a significant mark on the last two decades of the twentieth century. Among them, “Less than Zero”, “Lunar Park”, “Glamorama” and his most important book, “American Psycho”, a mad and disenchanted journey through late-twentieth century New York, obsessed with consumerism, beauty and drugs, and seen through the eyes of a serial killer. His novels have often been adapted for the big screen, for which he has also served as a screenwriter and executive producer. At the Rome Film Fest, Bret Easton Ellis will review his remarkable career and offer his personal point of view on contemporary American society.

Ron Howard

The extraordinary career of Ron Howard, winner of an Oscar® for A Beautiful Mind, stretches across sixty years of film and television. He debuts as an actor in 1959 in the cult TV series The Twilight Zone, and in 1977, while a star of the famous series “Happy Days”, he directs his first feature film. His talent behind the camera leads him to experiment with very different genres and to direct many box-office hits, such as Cocoon, Far and Away, Apollo 13, Frost/Nixon, Cinderella Man, the films inspired by Dan Brown novels (The Da Vinci Code, Angels and Demons, Inferno) and Solo: A Star Wars Story. In Rome, Ron Howard will present his documentary  Pavarotti, his new personal tribute to the world of music, after The Beatles – Eight Days a Week.


Kore-eda Hirokazu

Kore-eda Hirokazu is one of the most inspired auteurs of Asian cinema and his work will be the subject of one of the retrospectives at the upcoming Rome Film Fest. His thirty-year career has produced an intimist and meditative filmography that seeks to explore the feelings and fragilities of his characters. His work has won him many acknowledgments worldwide: from After Life which brought him international fame, to Like Father, Like Son (Jury Prize at Cannes) and Shoplifters, Oscar® nominee as Best Foreign Language Film, Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival and César as Best Foreign Film.

Shoplifters Trailer

Bertrand Tavernier

Over the years, French director Bertrand Tavernier – a refined film critic with a profound knowledge of American cinema – has developed his poetics based on the power of screenwriting and acting. At the Berlin Film Festival, he won the Special Jury Prize for The Clockmaker – which inaugurated his long-term partnership with Philippe Noiret – and the Golden Bear for The Bait, while at the Cannes Film Festival he won the award for Best Director for A Sunday in the Country. On stage at the Auditorium, Bertrand Tavernier will explore the so-called “cinéma de papa”, the traditional form of cinematic storytelling that is so important to the director and was provocatively scorned by the critics of the Cahiers during the Nouvelle Vague.


The Official Selection will feature around forty films from all over the world that will compete for the BNL People’s Choice Award. The lineup will include:

Pavarotti by Ron Howard

The story, the voice, the secrets and the legend of tenor Luciano Pavarotti and his incredible career, from baker’s son to the international superstar who changed the world of opera forever. Directed by Academy-Award winner Ron Howard, who will also attend a Close Encounter with the audience at the Rome Film Fest, the documentary is an intimate and compelling portrait of the artist and the man, editing previously unseen footage and images from his most iconic performances.

Pavarotti by Ron Howard Trailer


The retrospectives, curated by Mario Sesti, will be dedicated to two of the world’s greatest filmmakers, from Europe to Asia. On the one hand, German director Max Ophüls, considered one of the most brilliant and sophisticated  auteurs of the seventh art, an essential reference for many directors including Stanley Kubrick, who admired him for his extraordinary technique and complex, unusual camera movements. On the other hand, Japanese filmmaker Kore-eda Hirokazu – who will also attend a Close Encounter – a cult filmmaker whose work takes an original approach to themes such as life and death, family ties, loved ones and memories.


Rome Film Fest will pay tribute to Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, on the one hundredth anniversary of his birth, with the restoration of one of his masterpieces, Kapò, released in theaters sixty years ago (1959) and Academy Award nominee as Best Foreign Language film in 1961. Film restoration by Cineteca di Bologna.

The lineup of the fourteenth Rome Film Fest will also feature the restored version of Fellini Satyricon, the visionary reinvention of Petronius’ classic, directed by Federico Fellini and released in theaters fifty years ago (1969).


As usual, the Artistic Director and the members of the Selection Committee will share with the audience a selection of films that have influenced their passion for cinema: after westerns, musicals and noir films, 2019 will be the year of screwball comedies, the sophisticated American comedies from the 1930s and 40s. Each film will be introduced by a conversation with filmmakers, actors and other guests. Furthermore, before all the screenings at the Rome Film Fest, spectators will enjoy short clips from the most famous and beloved screwball comedies.


The Auditorium Parco della Musica has been the heart of the fest since 2006 with the red carpet and the screening venues. Like every year, Rome Film Fest will involve several other locations and cultural entities in the Italian capital, including MAXXI – National Museum of XXI Century Arts and Casa del Cinema. MACRO – Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome will join the event for the first time this year hosting two new sections of the Rome Film Fest: “Duel” and “Word/Image”. In the former, two renowned figures from the world of art, culture and the performing arts will challenge one another in front of the audience, debating on themes relating to cinema, to its protagonists and its stories. Whereas, “Word/Image” will feature well-known Italian and international writers commenting on film adaptations of famous novels.

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