Rome Film Festival 2021

festa del cinema di roma 2021

All about the 16th edition of the Rome Film Fest

The 16th edition of Festa del Cinema, Rome’s annual famed film festival, kicks off on October 14 until October 24. Taking place in the Auditorium Parco della Musica and other great locations throughout the city, this annual festival offers a whole host of events including screenings, master classes, tributes, exhibits, panels and many other special events. The 1,300 square meters of avenue leading to the Cavea becomes one of the largest red carpets in the world.

As in previous years, plenty of space will be dedicated to Close Encounters with directors, writers, actors and personalities from the world of arts and culture. Among them, this year’s edition will host Quentin Tarantino, Zadie Smith and Tim Burton who will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. The retrospective of the sixteenth edition of the Film Fest, curated by Mario Sesti, will be dedicated to Arthur Penn.

Uma Thurman is the protagonist of the official image of this edition. The photograph is a tribute to the American actress and her remarkable performance in Kill Bill: Volume 2 by Quentin Tarantino.

Jessica Chastain as “Tammy Faye Bakker” in the film THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE. Photo Courtesy of Searchlight Pictures. © 2021 20th Century Studios All Rights Reserved

The opening film of this year’s Rome Film Fest is The Eyes of Tammy Faye directed by Michael Showalter. The film is an in-depth exploration of the true story of televangelist Tammy Faye Bakker played by Jessica Chastain. Known for her singing, her eyelashes, and her appearance to people from every corner proof the world, this biographical drama tells an American story that reveals great truths about humanity – a grand opening for other movies to come.

rome film festival

Official Selection

The sixteenth edition of the Rome Film Fest will feature 21 films and two documentaries aiming to please every crowd by offering all cinematic forms of expression. We will see pieces of independent cinema, differing genres, various emerging but also well-known filmmakers, the visual arts, and documentaries. The selection of film represents the best of Italian cinema while not letting go of an international presence as the selection brings films from 23 different countries. Starting with The eyes of Tammy Faye and ending with Eternals starring Angelina Jolie, this year’s selection is outstanding. Among many titles, some actors we can expect to even visit the red carpet are Jessica Chastain, protagonist of the opening film, Joaquin Phoenix in C’mon C’mon, and Peter Dinklage from Cyrano, a musical directed by Joe Wright who we will be able to meet as part of the Close Encounters. The selection is quite varied, with the Mexican Mi novia es la revoluciónthe coming of age story of a rebellious fifteen-year-old,and the Dominican Una película sober parejas, but we travel around the world with Nordic movies such as The North Sea and A Thousand Hours or Sami by the Iranian Habib Bavi Sajed a dramatic movie though which we live the devastating effects of war. But Italian touches will not be missing, starting with the movie adaptation of Donatella Di Pietrantonio’s novel L’Arminuta by Giuseppe Bonito or Amanda Sthers’ Promises, a movie starring Jen Reno and Pierfrancesco Favino.

By Michael Showalter, United States, 2021, 126’
Cast: Jessica Chastain, Andrew Garfield, Cherry Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Sam Jaeger, Fredric Lehne

By Giuseppe Bonito, Italy, Switzerland, 2021, 110’
Cast: Sofia Fiore, Carlotta De Leonardis, Vanessa Scalera, Fabrizio Ferracane, Elena Lietti, Andrea Fuorto, Stefano Petruzziello, Giovanni Francesco Palombaro Fiorita

by Liz Garbus, United States, 2021, 93’ | Doc |

By Mike Mills, United States, 2021, 108’
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Gaby Hoffmann, Woody Norman, Scoot McNairy, Molly Webster, Jaboukie Young-White

by Éric Warin, Tahir Rana, Canada, France, Belgium, 2021, 92’
Voices: Keira Knightley, Brenda Blethyn, Jim Broadbent, Sam Claflin, Eddie Marsan, Helen McCrory, Sophie Okonedo, Mark Strong

by Joe Wright, United Kingdom, Italy, Canada, United States, 2021, 124’
Cast: Peter Dinklage, Haley Bennett, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Ben Mendelsohn

by Darin J. Sallam, Jordan, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, 2021, 92’
Cast: Karam Taher, Ashraf Barhom, Ali Suliman, Tala Gammoh, Majd Eid, Samuel Kaczorowski

by Silenn Thomas, United States, 2021, 109’ | Doc |

by Jens Sjögren, Sweden, 2021, 100’
Cast: Granit Rushiti, Dominic Andersson Bajraktati, Cedomir Glisović, Merima Dizdarević, Linda Haziri, Selma Mesanović

by Carine Tardieu, France, Belgium, 2021, 112’
Cast: Fanny Ardant, Melvil Poupaud, Cécile de France, Florence Loiret-Caille, Sharif Andura, Sarah Henochsberg

by Andreas Koefoed, Denmark, France, Sweden, 2021, 100’ | Doc |

by Marcel Barrena, Spain, Greece, 2021, 112’
Cast: Eduard Fernández, Dani Rovira, Anna Castillo, Sergi López, Àlex Monner, Melika Foroutan

by Marcelino Islas Hernández, Mexico, 2021, 104’
Cast: Sofía Islas Herrerías, Ana Valeria Becerril, Flor Edwarda Gurrola, Martha Claudia Moreno, Renata López, Mauro Sanchez Navarro

by John Andreas Andersen, Norway, 2021, 100’
Cast: Kristine Kujath Thorp, Rolf Kristian Larsen, Anders Baasmo Christiansen, Henrik Bjelland, Bjørn Floberg, Anneke von der Lippe

by Rebecca Hall, United States, 2021, 98’
Cast: Tessa Thompson, Ruth Negga, André Holland, Bill Camp, Gbenga Akinnagbe, Antoinette CroweLegacy, Alexander Skarsgård

by Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada, Dominican Republic, 2021, 88’
Cast: Natalia Cabral, Oriol Estrada, Lia Estrada Cabral, Carlos M. Matos, Cristina Violines, Alex SaintHilaire

by Amanda Sthers, Italy, 2021, 113’
Cast: Pierfrancesco Favino, Kelly Reilly, Jean Reno, Cara Theobold, Kris Marshall, Deepak Verma, Leon Hesby, Ginnie Watson

by Habib Bavi Sajed, Iran, 2021, 75’
Cast: Saeed Negravi, Amineh Abeyyat, Mina Daqaqeleh

by Ho Wi-ding, Taiwan, 2021, 127’
Cast: Austin Lin Bo Hong, Moon Lee, Annie Chen, JC Lin, Ding Ning, Yao Ai-ning

by Carl Moberg, Sweden, Denmark, 2021, 101’
Cast: Josefine Tvermoes, Anders Manley, Alba August, Kenneth M. Christensen, Anna Asp, Ferdinand Falsen Hiis

by Zhang Yimou, China, 2021, 104’
Cast: Zhang Yi, Liu Haocun, Fan Wei, Yu Ailei, Zhang Shaobo, Li Yan

by Kamila Andini, Indonesia, Singapore, France, Australia, 2021, 95’
Cast: Arawinda Kirana, Kevin Ardilova, Dimas Aditya, Marissa Anita, Asmara Abigail, Muhammad Khan

by Blerta Basholli, Kosovo, 2021, 84’
Cast: Yllka Gashi, Çun Lajçi, Aurita Agushi, Kumrije Hoxha, Adriana Matoshi, Molikë Maxhuni

cmon cmon mike mills


This year too, the Rome Film Fest will pay tribute to various Italian personalities of the industry and culture with 6 special movies. In particular, the 90th birth anniversary of Ettore Scola will be remembered, and the 100th of Nino Manfredi with his newly restored masterpiece C’eravamo tanto amati. Edoardo Leo’s film Luigi Proietti detto Gigi will tell the story and pay homage to of one of the most important men of cinema, Luigi Proietti, with exclusive unedited clips included in his movie. There will be remembrance of historic radio voices with Onde Radicali by Gianfranco Pannone, making the viewers relive the epoch of journalism of the 80s. And with Vitti d’arte, Vitti d’amore by Fabrizio Corallo, we get a peak into the life of Monica Vitti, famous actress with a life story full of unexpected happenings. And finally, dedicated to the 100th birth anniversary of Giorgio Strehler, we will see Simona Risi’s Essere Giorgio Stehler, a close look into his intimate life with rarely seen interviews within a poetic and very personal film.

Special Events

Two much awaited Italian series will be screened during the Film Festival A casa tutti bene by Gabriele Muccino and Vita da Carlo by Verdone. Sergio Rubini brings us a feature film: I fratelli De Filippo and we expect E noi come stronzi rimanemmo a guardare of Pierfrancesco Diliberto to play on screens, with actors Fabio De Luigi and Ilenia Pastorelli. But at the heart of the Special Events lies the Netflix documentary-series Stories of a Generation with Pope Francis, presenting the first episode, Love, at the film festival while the debut will only take place on the December 25.

Quantin Tarantino

Close Encounters series

As in past editions, this year the Close Encounters with directors, writers, actors, and various personalities will not be missing. Among them we will find Tim Burton, awarded with the Lifetime Achievement Award. He will talk of the most important milestones of his artistic career. Another well-known face to Encounter will be Quentin Tarantino, Oscar winning director and screenwriter, who barely needs an introduction. Rome Film Fest 2021 brings us an Encounter with Zadie Smith. An English writer who tackles relevant issues with humor and irony in her works. But we will get a chance to meet Italian talents like Luciano Ligabue and Fabrizio Moro authors of the short film Sogni di rock’n’roll and famous singers. Marco Bellocchio will present some scenes from his new series on Aldo Moro called Esterno notte, and we will get the chance to meet Claudio Baglioni one the most loved songwriters of the Italian music scene. The Manetti Bros will present their much awaited movie Diabolik starring Luca Marinelli, Miriam Leone, and Valerio Mastandrea and during this Encounter they will be ready to tell us about their careers and lives and how they became talents of the contemporary cinema scene.

Tim Burton


As for the Retrospective, as always curated by Mario Sesti, we will get a chance to honour Arthur Penn, well-loved author in the history of cinema. The director from the States known to produce for the screens of cinemas, has also marvelled our home screens on television, and the stages of theatres. All the while brining out contradictions of society, showing how much of a responsibility, both political and societal, artists of the cinema have.

While last years The Films of our Lives were out-of-this-world, with the theme of science fiction, this year the Rome Film Fest will lighten it up a bit and focus on guilty pleasures. These will be movies that are considered simple and perhaps unlucky in success, but super enjoyable nonetheless. Movies that have shaped the organisers of the event, and marked their passion for cinema, all carefully selected by them for us. Buckle up to watch movies you would not easily own up to liking to just about anyone!

And before each screening, as per tradition now, there will be short sequences of famous films. This year’s theme: duels of genre. Whether that be a showdown between the most famous westerns and science fiction, or Burton vs. Nolan, the Film Fest is ready to bring you along a screening of polarities and of opposites before each film.


And as last year, now too, there will be a virtual room where you can follow part of the program on demand: the Digital RFF15 platform.

Check out their website for the full program and don’t forget to book your tickets early on, available from the October 11 at 9am online because with all these great names, they will surely fly away quickly. Tickets can also be purchased on the days of the Festival


16th Rome Film Festival

From October 14 – October 24 (2021 edition)

Main Venue

Auditorium Parco della Musica

Viale Pietro de Coubertin, 30


Entry fee: €6-25

Other Venues

Via Guido Reni 4/A

Casa Del Cinema
Largo Marcello Mastroianni 1

Teatro dell’Opera
Piazza Beniamino Gigli

Palazzo Merulana
Via Merulana 121

My Cityplex Savoy
Via Bergamo 17/25

Auditorium Conciliazione
Via della Conciliazione 4

Teatro Palladium
Piazza Bartolomeo Romano 8

Via degli Orti d’Alibert 1

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