Julianne Moore will be the guest of honor at the Rome Film Festival, which unveiled a lineup of hot titles, many by young directors, including Massy Tadjedin’s "Last Night," John Cameron Mitchell’s "Rabbit Hole" and Jim Loach’s "Oranges and Sunshine," on Thursday.
Artistic director Piera Detassis praised Moore — who will receive the Marcus Aurelius Award for lifetime achievement — for "standing as testimony to the thin but still existing link between Hollywood and indie cinema."
Moore will hold a Q&A and tubthump Lisa Cholodenko’s "The Kids Are All Right," in which she stars and which unspools out-of-competition at the fest.
There will be less Hollywood at the fifth edition of the Eternal City fest, which runs Oct. 28-Nov. 5, though Eva Mendes and Keira Knightley are expected for "Last Night," the previously announced opener that preemed at Toronto.
Detassis has raised the bar for the fest’s 16-title competition where standout entries include Loach’s Emily Watson starrer "Oranges and Sunshine," about children deported from the U.K. to Australia. Pic is the debut of Ken Loach’s son. "Oranges" world preems in Pusan this week.
Other buzzed-about competition pics include "Dog Sweat," the clandestinely shot portrait of youth rebellion in contempo Tehran by Hossein Keshavarz; Aussie mother-daughter drama "Little Sparrows," by Yu-Hsiu Camille Chen; "The Back," an offbeat look at China’s artworld by helmer Liu Bingjian; and Claudio Cupellini’s "Una vita tranquilla," starring Toni Servillo as an Italo hitman retired in Germany.
Most Rome competition entries are European preems of pics that have already surfaced on the fest circuit, though the Italian films are world preems.
Rome fest will also feature work that breaks barriers between film and TV, including the pilot for Martin Scorsese’s HBO series "Boardwalk Empire" and the 2 1/2-hour theatrical cut of "Carlos," Olivier Assayas’ biopic of Venezuelan terrorist Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, the five-plus hours TV version that drew raves in Cannes.