ROME FILM FEST 14 | 24 October 2021


Today, Artistic Director Antonio Monda announced some sneak previews of the sixteenth edition of the Rome Film Fest, which will take place at the Auditorium Parco della Musica in Rome, and in numerous other places in the capital city from 14 to 24 October 2021. The full program will be announced during the official press conference on Wednesday, October 6.

Since 2019, the Rome Film Fest has been officially recognized by the FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films).


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. Here are the first names announced today:

Tim Burton | Lifetime Achievement Award

Rome Film Fest will celebrate Tim Burton by awarding him a Lifetime Achievement Award. On that occasion, the American director, screenwriter, producer and animator will be the protagonist of a Close Encounter with the public during which he will retrace the main stages of his artistic career: since the second half of the 80s, he has been considered one of the most original filmmakers in the U.S. film industry, the one who can bring an immediately recognizable visual universe to the big screen. From Batman to Edward Scissorhands, from Ed Wood to Corpse Bride, from Big Fish to Sweeney Todd, from Frankenweenie to Dumbo, Burton immerses the viewer into a world of dark and sometimes gothic atmospheres, populated by extravagant and solitary figures, often condemned to live a kind of irreversibly abnormal experience.

Tim Burton said, “To receive this honour from the Rome Film Festival is very special for me. Fellini, Mario Bava, Dario Argento have all been major inspirations in my life and receiving it in Rome, a place I love, a city where you feel like you’re starring in your own film, is very emotional”.

Quentin Tarantino | Lifetime Achievement Award

Cult director and screenwriter, Quentin Tarantino has been able to revolutionize exploitation films and b-movies by manipulating the plot – in completely new and certainly innovative ways – thus regularly upsetting the traditional narrative structure of a story. He achieved success thanks to his debut film, Reservoir Dogs, followed by Jackie BrownKill Bill vol. 1Kill Bill vol. 2Inglourious Basterds – up to his latest work, Once upon a time in … Hollywood. The original screenplays of Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained earned him two Oscars®. The Rome Film Fest will celebrate this genius with a Lifetime Achievement Award event and with a Close Encounter that will see him engaged in a conversation with the public.

Quentin Tarantino said: “There was a time in my life where I’d watch any Italian movie. And I spent the better part of my career making my version of those movies. So, to get a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rome Film Festival, is fantastico!”

Zadie Smith

The London-based writer, one of the loudest and most powerful voices of her generation, will retrace her twenty-year career in front of a festival audience: her first novel, “White teeth” (Mondadori), was published in 2000 and became a literary world sensation. In the following years, she wrote “The Autograph Man”, “On Beauty”, “NW” and “Swing Time”, through which she tackled contemporary issues with great irony and depth, bringing out the most painful aspects of reality. Since 2010 Zadie Smith has been teaching at the New York University. She works on a regular basis with the “New York Times” and the “New Yorker”.


The retrospective of the sixteenth edition of the Film Fest, curated by Mario Sesti, will be dedicated to Arthur Penn, one of the most beloved and representative authors in the history of cinema. Over the decades, the U.S. director and producer has been able to bring the contradictions of contemporary society to the big screen – but also to television and theater – adding the social and political responsibility of the artist to the ability and pleasure of telling stories.


Like every year, the Artistic Director Antonio Monda, the members of the Selection Committee and the Head of Retrospectives will share with the public a brief review of works that marked their passion for films: after westerns, musicals, noir films, but also screwball comedy and science fiction, in 2021 the selection committee will focus on guilty pleasures, that is “light” films –  not completely successful productions that are, at the same time, utterly irresistible.


As already happened in previous editions, before each screening of the film fest, spectators will be able to see short sequences of famous films: this year the clips will be dedicated to the most famous duels in the history of film on a journey through genres, from western to science fiction, from comedy to costume dramas, from musicals to action movies.


With its red carpet, halls and Theatres, Auditorium Parco della Musica has been the hub of Rome Film Fest since 2006. Like every year, the fest will be held  in many other places and cultural locations in the Capital City too, such as MAXXI – National Museum of 21st Century Arts, Casa del Cinema, Rebibbia Prisons, the Independent Libraries in Rome, and movie theatres throughout the City.