Rome Film Fest 2008: Avnet, Cronenberg, Cimino to Attend

July 11, 2008–The Rome Film Festival will premiere the Robert De Niro/Al Pacino vehicle Righteous Kill in the official selection.

New festival's president Gian Luigi Rondi said they are merging the premiere gala with the competition into a 20-title official selection.

The prizes have also been modified. There's now a Golden Marcus Aurelius decided by votes cast by regular festgoers, which carries E75,000 ($118,000), and a Critics Prize voted by a seven-member jury, also with $118,000 attached. The critics jury will also award male and female thesping nods.

In previous editions, Rome prizes had been decided by a jury of just 50 selected non-professional attending movie buffs.

Rondi underlined that Rome will focus on the entertainment aspect of cinema and not art movies, which, he said, are for Venice. He kept mum on confirming any titles.

Righteous Kill, helmed by Jon Avnet will be shown in Rome to boost its October Italian launch via local distrib 01 Distribuzione. Talent for the thriller is expected; De Niro has previously been a Rome guest.

Cronenberg, the cult Canadian helmer is coming to unveil an art show called Cromosomes of stills from his pictures, transposed to canvases, which will also be the subject of an onstage conversation at the Auditorium Theater, in Romes customary multi-media spirit.

Michael Cimino will present an onstage conversation about his favorite dance sequences on film, including the Harvard lawn Blue Danube Waltz in his 1980 Heavens Gate.

The third edition of the Rome Film Festival runs October 22-31.