This past week, Rome was host to the International Film Festival. Held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the festival was said to house the largest red carpet in the world. People of all ages joined together to celebrate and embrace the true beauty of theatre and art, gathering to commemorate and appreciate the majesty of a perfectly crafted film.
The Auditorium itself was unlike any other time I have seen it before. Its modernity strikingly contrasts to the more refined, historical culture of Rome itself, and when the Auditorium is alive, it is almost like being in another world. Every inch of the Auditorium was covered; the event could be heard from down the block, and whilst walking around, it was rare to see someone unfazed by the event’s sheer immensity. The culture at this film festival was one to be rivaled: complete strangers could strike up a conversation, laugh, commiserate and befriend one another merely due to a common passion.
Even if you aren’t a fan of films, this year’s festival also had many different cultural events and art exhibits. Is past Sunday, for example, was China Day: an event that highlighted the many things Italy could do for China. If politics were not your cup of tea, the art exhibits were nothing short of breathtaking. With presentations by multiple different artists, it truly showed the culmination of great art at its finest.
At one particular exhibit, a photo seemed to strike a chord with me, and the woman next to me seemed to feel similarly. After starting a conversation with her, I learned that a few years prior, she too had aspired to become a filmmaker. Myriad obstructions hampered her progression into this field, but she still remained optimistic. We spoke a bit about the exhibit, and she then proceeded to take her place in one of the most intimidating looking lines I have ever seen. She was waiting to attend a question and answer session with one of her favorite directors, and one thing she mentioned caused me to seriously think about things. She said, “Waiting in these long lines isn’t a waste of my time, it’s an investment in my passion.” This statement speaks volumes about the Festival itself. Although the crowd may be daunting, it does little to deter the avid fans from indulging in a slice of culture.
All in all, the Rome Film Festival was an incredible sight to be seen. With such a modern and sleek setting contrasting to the historical complexity of Rome itself, it definitely provided an atmosphere that was rich in not only the culture of film and art, but of the city of Rome itself.