• Festivals

Star-Studded Films and Star Guests Shine Bright at Rome Film Festival

The 17th annual Rome Film Festival, which ran from October13-23, 2022, welcomed numerous artists and celebrities to one of the largest red carpets in the world at the Auditorium Parco della Musica. The festival, led by new artistic director, former RAI executive Paola Malanga and president Gian Luca Farinelli, hosted 130 titles on 28 screens across Rome.

The opening feature, The Hummingbird (Il Colibrì), directed by Francesca Archibugi and starring Bérénice Bejo (The Artist) and Pierfrancesco Favino (The Traitor) received great applause. The film premiered in Toronto and is based on the novel by Sandro Veronesi, winner of Italy’s top literary prize, the Premio Strega, in 2020.


Some of the other films presented in Rome were Billy Eichner’s Bros Gabe Polsky’s Butcher’s Crossing, with Nicolas CageStephen FrearsThe Lost KingWhat’s Love Got to Do With It?; Lila Neugebauer’s Causeway starring Jennifer LawrenceRaymond & Ray starring Ethan Hawke and Ewan McGregorAlam, a Palestinian coming-of-age drama from director Firas Khoury; and Italian director Francesco Patierno’s La Cura, a film set in Naples during the lockdown. Also screened were David O. Russell‘s Amsterdam The Menu starring Ralph FiennesSteven Spielberg‘s The Fabelmans.

Italian titles presented included Michele Placido’s Caravaggio’s Shadow with Riccardo Scamarcio and Isabelle Huppert, and Renato De Maria’s Fascist-era heist Rapiniamo il Duce, a Netflix original.

Director James Ivory was the recipient of the festival’s lifetime achievement award. The director was celebrated for his multiple Oscar nominations for A Room with a View, Howards End, The Remains of the Day and a screenwriting nod for Call Me By Your Name. Ivory presented his personal documentary, A Cooler Climate, about his life-changing trip to Afghanistan in 1960. A mini-retrospective of his films included Maurice, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, starring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, The Remains of the Day and A Room with a View.

Aussie actor Russell Crowe, who had been filming The Pope’s Exorcist in the city, was another guest of honor at the festival and presented a Master Class about his Hollywood career to film students and festival members. Crowe also premiered his second directorial effort, the thriller Poker Face in which he stars opposite Liam Hemsworth, at the Rome Film Festival’s independently run ‘Alice in the City’ section. Filmmaker Luke Besson was also present to talk about his experiences with his earliest features, and U.K.’s director Frears talked about My Beautiful Laundrette.