This year will mark the 7th edition of the Rome Film Festival, but will be Marco Müller’s first running the show. Announcing a new look event today, the former Venice Film Fest chief will oversee a selection to include roughly 60 world premieres, various sidebars, a focus on emerging trends in contemporary film and an emphasis on Italian cinema. The Rome fest, a somewhat unwelcome upstart when it began, is now well-liked by the European industry. The arrival of the respected Muller will help grow the appreciation and should also act as a catalyst to bring more US films to the fest as awards season is gathering steam Stateside. All the films in the official selection will be world premieres, but notably there will be special exceptions for films not yet publicly screened outside their country of origin. The festival runs November 9-17. Concurrent film and co-production markets will run from Nov 14-18. Full details of the new regulations follow:

A selection of around sixty world premieres, a focus on new trends in contemporary cinema, an array of screenings, master classes, panels, and events devoted to Italian cinema and to Italian co-productions are among the new initiatives that Artistic Director Marco Müller is introducing for the seventh edition of the Rome Film Festival (Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma), which will be held from November 9th through 17th, 2012, at the Auditorium Parco della Musica and other venues in the Italian capital.

The new regulations call for an Official Selection to be composed of an International Competition, a choice of films Out of Competition, and two additional competitive showcases: CinemaXXI (21st-century Cinema) and Perspectives Italy.

The International Competition will include a maximum of fifteen films, while up to six works will be screened Out of Competition. CinemaXXI is reserved for works that “reflect the continuous reinvention of cinema on the contemporary visual scene,” and will host a competition showing feature films, medium-length features, and short films, for a maximum of fifteen films. Perspectives Italy will take stock of new trends in Italian cinema, and will present a maximum of fourteen feature films and seven short films, all in competition.

With the 2012 edition, the Festival will also become a sounding-board for the Italian film industry, reflecting the current state of affairs and the future prospects. In addition to the screenings and the glamorous red carpet at the Auditorium, there will be a special programme featuring meetings with film professionals, conferences, seminars, and workshops for film projects.

All the films in the Official Selection will be world premieres; only in special cases will exceptions be made for films not yet publicly screened outside their country of origin.

Artistic Director Marco Müller will be assisted by a selection committee in the scouting effort for the titles that will make up the main Competition and non-competitive Section of the 2012 Festival, as well as the competitive showcase CinemaXXI. The selection committee is composed of Sandra
Hebron, Marie-Pierre Duhamel, Enrico Magrelli, Giona Nazzaro, Laura Buffoni, and, for the documentaries, Mario Sesti.

Furthermore, the following consultants will aid Marco Müller in the selection process by concentrating on key areas in international cinema: Chen Zhiheng (China/Hong Kong/Taiwan), Deepti D’Cunha (India), Elma Hadzirdezepovic Tataragic (the Balkans), Sheri Jennings (United States), Babak Karimi (Iran), Diego Lerer (Latin America – Central America, and South America), Paolo Moretti (“out-of-format” works – CinemaXXI), Alëna Shumakova (Russia, and the Commonwealth of Independent States), and Tomita Mikiko (Japan).

Alongside the Official Selection, starting this year the Festival will host Alice nella città, the showcase of youth-oriented cinema, as an independent sidebar.

The Festival programme will also include retrospectives and tributes to leading film figures.

From November 14th to November 18th, the Festival’s film market, The Business Street (TBS), and its co-production market, New Cinema Network (NCN), will be held in the centre of Rome. Meeting and screening facilities will be made available to attending industry professionals from all over the world.

The films in the International Competition will be judged by an International Jury of seven leading figures from the fields of film and culture around the world, who will assign the Golden Marc’Aurelio for Best Film, the Best Director Award, the Special Jury Prize, the Best Actor and Best Actress Awards, the Emerging Actor or Actress Award, the Award for Best Technical Contribution, and the Award for Best Screenplay.

An International Jury of five leading film and visual art figures will present the CinemaXXI Award and also the Special Jury Prize to feature-length films competing for CinemaXXI, as well as the Award for Short and Medium-length Films in the same section.

A Jury of five outstanding Italian film and culture personalities will decide on the following awards to films screening in the Perspectives Italy section: the Perspectives Awards for Best Feature Film, Best Documentary and Best Short Film.

Last but not least, an International Jury of five film and art personalities will select the Best Debut Film Award. All first feature films premiering in the various sections of the Official Selection will be eligible for this new award.

As in the previous editions of the Festival, the audience attending at the Rome Film Festival will select the BNL Audience Award for Best Film to one film competing in the Official Selection, by means of an electronic voting system.

The Festival will also pay tribute to an influential figure in contemporary cinema with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

– Competition
A maximum of 15 feature films, presented as world premieres
– Out of Competition
A maximum of 6 feature films, presented as world premieres
– CinemaXXI
A maximum of 15 programs (maximum 100 min.), presented as world premieres
– Perspectives Italy
14 feature films and 7 short films in competition, presented as world premieres

– Alice nella città
A maximum of 14 youth-oriented films

– Competition
An International Jury of 7 members
Golden Marc’Aurelio for Best Film
Best Director Award
Special Jury Prize
Best Actor Award
Best Actress Award
Emerging Actor or Actress Award
Best Technical Contribution Award
Best Screenplay Award

– CinemaXXI
An International Jury of 5 members
CinemaXXI Award (Feature-length Films)
Special Jury Prize – CinemaXXI (Feature-length Films)
CinemaXXI Award for Short and Medium-length Films

– Perspectives Italy
An Italian jury of 5 members
Perspectives Italy Award for Best Feature Film
Perspectives Italy Award for Best Documentary
Perspectives Italy Award for Best Short Film

– Best Debut Film Award
An International Jury of 5 members
Award for a first-time filmmaker

– BNL Audience Award
All festival audiences
Award for Best Film

– Lifetime Achievement Award