TEXT OF INTERVIEW
Doug Krizner: Today is the opening of the Rome Film Festival. In the line-up is the world premier of Francis Ford Coppola’s
“Youth Without Youth.” It’s his first film in a decade.
Let’s bring in our correspondent in Rome, Megan Williams. Megan, it’s only been a month since the Venice Film Festival. Is there a rivalry among these two?
Megan Williams: You know, as it’s turned out, it really hasn’t eaten into the Venice festival in any way — certainly in terms of profits or in terms of prestige. I mean, the Venice festival is the oldest festival in the world, and it’s very glamorous and has a big Hollywood line-up. The Rome festival has that Hollywood aspect of it as well, but it’s a much more grassroot kind of festival.
Krizner: Now, the Rome festival was created last year. I guess the city’s mayor, Walter Veltroni, was really at the helm of this effort. What is he trying to accomplish in this?
Williams: What he’s trying to do is really in line with what he’s trying to do for Rome, which is to modernize the city. I mean, it’s a city that has been kind of dragged down by all of its historical monuments — which, of course, are a huge attraction to tourists. But for people who live here, it’s kind of felt like a dead city in many ways for a long time. And so Veltroni has come in, and he’s infused the city with contemporary culture for the first time in, you know, decades.
Krizner: How is it impacting the economy?
Williams: Well, I mean interestingly enough, Rome is one of the only major cities in Italy where the economy is on the move, it’s growing. It’s not suffering from inflation. And the rest of Italy has negative growth.
Krizner: That’s correspondent Megan Williams in Rome. Megan, thanks so much for speaking with us.
Williams: Thanks, Doug.
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