ROME, Oct 16 - The third
edition of Roma Film Fest kicked off on Oct. 22
with the return of internationally acclaimed movie stars and directors
in a week-long celebration at the Auditorium Parco Della Musica.
event’s title alteration, from last year’s “Cinema Festa Internazionale
di Roma” to “Festival Internazionale del Film di Roma” was decided
by new festival president, Gian Luigi Rondi, who wanted a stronger Italian
identity. With notably fewer American stars appearing at this year’s
event, the new philosophy seems to be putting a greater emphasis
on Italian cinema rather than Hollywood.
highlight of the festival is the “Cinema 2008” Selection, consisting
of 14 European and International premieres which compete for two prizes:
the "Marco Aurelio d'Oro" Award for Best Film of 75,000 euros,
chosen by votes of the audience members, and the Premio della Critica
(Citics’ Prize) for Best Film, awarded by a jury of international
professionals. The jury will also preside in awarding prizes to the
Best Actress and Best Actor. Al Pacino will be this year’s guest of
honor, and will be the receiver of the Marc'Aurelio Alla Carriera Acting
Award, given on behalf of Actor’s Studios. Previous recipients of
the award included Sofia Loren (2007) and Sean Connery (2006).
anticipated segment of the festival will be “L’altro Cinema/Extra,”
incorporating screenings of independent and documentary films along
with the opportunity for moviegoers to exchange dialogue with some of
today’s most acclaimed actors and directors, including Al Pacino and
David Cronenberg. “L’occhio del mondo/Focus,” is the section of
the festival that is meant to capture and explore cultures from all
over the world through music, art, and literature. This year’s
“Focus” is dedicated to Brazil, unraveling its national traits,
through photography exhibitions, film screenings, and dance concerts.
A special feature of the Brazil showcase will be the Italian-Brazilian
co-production Estômago/Una storia gastronomica, directed by Marcos
Jorge, which won 4 out of 6 prizes at the 2007 Rio Film Festival.
Two films kicked off the festival. The first
is L’uomo che ama directed by Maria Sole Tognazzi, starring
Monica Bellucci and Pierfrancesco Favino The second opening film will
be the international film Huit/Eight,
directed by eight world-famous filmmakers: Jane Campion, Gael Garcia
Bernal, Jan Kounen, Mira Nair, Gaspar Noé, Abderrahmane Sissako, Gus
Van Sant, and Wim Wenders, was inspired by the UN 8 Millennium Development
Goals and its campaign to end global poverty.
for the festival can be purchased at the Ticket Office in the Auditorium
Parco della Musica or at authorized ticket outlets. For more information
regarding tickets, schedule, and transportation, visit the official
ROME, Oct. 10 - With 44 million eligible votersin their teens and twenties in the United States, the so-called "Millennial
Generation" makes up a crucial voting bloc. They break down to 61% white, 17% Hispanic, 15% black and
John Cabot University students are a category of voters that are actively involved
and engaged with global issues, connected through technology and constant
In comparison with past generations,
the Millennials have truly “rocked the vote.” Statistics reveal
that voters aged 18-29 represent more than one-fifth of the
voting population. Recent history reveals that the generation was responsible
for the difference in the 2006 and 2008 primaries, according
to recent “RocktheVote” data.
The Millenials' concerns are vast this year,
especially with the economy in trouble, rising gas prices and global warming fears. Fretting over grocery money and college tuition, college students
will be hit hard. Maritza Janique Leal, a Public
Relations major and study abroad student at JCU says, “whenever I have a
chance to talk with my parents back home in Texas, I am always reminded
by them of how poor the economy is doing. I am definitely nervous about
the market and especially about trying to find a job next year.”
Apprehensions like these are common for upcoming college graduates.
student voters are well-informed about the upcoming presidential election
through school events, family influence and fellow peers. However, American
study-abroad students like those at JCU are at a geographic disadvantage. They are thousands of miles away from their home and universities.
Students are far away from the heart of the election, the constant buzz of media
and discussions with friends or family. A recent “Rock the Vote”
study reveals that “the most common way that young Americans keep
track of this election and other news is by talking to friends and family.”
With close friends and family so far, students must look into new resources to keep the election discussion
Would being at home actually
make a difference though? Michelle Carroll, a study abroad student and
International Studies major says, "I am definitely up-to-date with
the election, but all through my own efforts... because there have been
few opportunities to discuss the topic in my class, as well as few school
events." As a first time voter and witness in the election as a
college student, Carroll, like others, feels disconnected from the election
This semester, many study abroad students are independently digging for political answers
for the election.
As a result, many JCU students are forming
opinions about the election independently as they await their absentee ballot.
Oct. 8- With the fast approaching U.S. Presidential election just weeks
away, issues surrounding the economy and the current fiscal crisis
dominate discussion and voter concern.
Americans are presently
struggling with the volatility of the financial sector, but are also
dreading future prospects. For a change, the difficulties are bringing
young voters and their parents together. According to a recent New York Times/CBS News poll
that the economy is the top priority. Nearly half polled said it was
their chief concern, which pushes issues like national security and the
Iraq war to the back-burner. Similarly, a poll conducted by CBS News and MTV illustrated that the youth vote was most concerned about the economy, Iraq war, and the environment.
rise of apprehension and panic comes as no surprise after months of a
faltering economy, and the recent bailout of Wall Street. Average
Americans are uneasy about the effect it has on their livelihoods.
“Everything has gone to hell here, I can’t even work. Nobody can buy
lobsters, not even processors. The price-per-pound has dropped a dollar
in the past week,” a Maine lobster fisherman told The Matthew Online.
The lobster fisherman said he will vote for the candidate he feels has
the stronger economic policy. “There’s got to be some oversight, and
that’s why I agree with [Sen. Barack] Obama.”
Experienced voters are also anxious of energy prices, the job
market, and health care. As baby boomers griow older, health care
becomes an important topic for their generation. Additionally, the
viability of social security is weighing on the minds of every American
that has paid into the program their entire working life. The future
of the pension program is less than certain, and many worry about what
kind of monthly payout the plan will afford once they retire.
In the polls above, a full 34 percent of young voters voiced
concerns about the long-term stability of the economy; 18 percent cite
the environment as the greatest challenge to the global community. “I
think that younger voters have become more informed and involved during
this election,” said college sophomore Elias Edwards-Jenks, a John
Cabot University student. He believes it is the dire financial
situation, and the suddenly bleak job market, that has revived the
interest of young voters -- not that different from their parents'
As American voters go to the polls on Nov. 4, collective angst and hope -- from young and old -- will be heard.
ROME, Oct. 8 – October
of an election year should provide a media blitz, a hearty, political
bill-of-fare for the reader to digest. Most major news outlets,
however, are serving up a grimmer first course as an international economic
Try the New York Times, The BBC and CNN, for example.All
three news giants are flying the stock market woes as their top story.
The United States presidential election, an event that typically
warrants bold headlines, with or without an eventful race, is rapidly
finding itself to be a second-tier story.
Professor of Economics Mary
P. Merva, Dean of Academic Affairs for John Cabot University, acknowledged
the shift in focus.“It’s so extreme and so
uncertain,” she said in regard to the recent market woes.
In the wake of the liquidity crisis
over the past several weeks, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the
benchmark Wall Street index, sunk to its lowest level in four years
earlier this week and banks across the world have sought government aid
in securing their finances.
“We haven’t seen such interconnectedness
among companies and countries worldwide,” said Prof. Merva. “We
have to collectively respond.”
Numerous central banks in America, Europe and Asia have already begun working to shore up consumer and investor confidence as governments
pump more money in to keep things afloat.
While the election may be playing
second fiddle to the universal top story, economic goings-on are severely
affecting the political landscape.
Both presidential candidates
have sought to emphasize the economy in their platforms. Sen.John McCain and Sen.Barack Obama provide detailed fiscal plans to address
the biggest concerns for American voters.
“The election will become
important with respect to the economy,” says Professor Merva. As the
future economic policy of the United States could depend greatly on
this November, the world will continue to pay attention.
Though it is often surprising
for Americans abroad, people in Europe show great interest in United
States politics. From Termini Station to a local gelateria, “McCain
or Obama?” is the question most locals have for their American visitors.
Professor Merva is not surprised.
“Europeans are always much
more aware,” she says, because, in such a diverse continent, people
are used to looking outside of their world.
While the majority of people
are looking at the inside of their wallets, don’t be surprised at
a surge in political attention over the next several weeks. The world
is seeing green for the moment, but no one is forgetting about red and
ROME, Oct. 7 – The Lemon
Tree Courtyard at John Cabot University last Monday was filled to capacity with over 300
American students watching the televised the replay of the first presidential debate. Midway through the broadcast, a discussion arose among the some of the students and a consensus emerged: neither candidate, John McCain nor Barack
The students said neither candidate seemed to be tackling the issues head-on, and the debate seemed to be more involved
around character than policy.
That evening, an informal poll was taken to guage which party the students favored. There
were more hands raised for Obama than for McCain,
but there were a surprising number -- roughly 20 - "undecided" hands raised. This first
debate was supposed to sway the undecided votes to one side or the other, but that was simply
not the case, an issue true in some parts of America too.
Josh Sanchez, 19, a study-abroad
student walked into this debate leaning to neither party. “I came into this debate tonight undecided,
looking for an answer of which party I want to vote for, but I’m still
stuck right where I was previously,” he said. Speaking of McCain, he said, "I do not agree with the Keating Five scandal and
how his campaign managers are [former] lobbyists,” he explained. “I was expecting
answers about the economy that I minimally received.”
The first set of Presidential
Debates lacked substance for the undecided voters. Students
are frustrated that neither candidate impressed them enough to set their
votes. They are concerned about the job market and who will revive the slumping economy.
The second debate between McCain and Obama airs tonight.
For additional information
about undecided votes visit the following site.
ROME Oct. 7, 2008- Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama
has 2,020,869 supporters on Facebook and another 670,640 Myspace friends while his opponent John
McCain has 561,009 Facebook fans and 156,925 Myspace friends.
To some, these numbers mean nothing. But to those watching the youth vote, these figures represent the latet way politicians are using the internet to engage youth supporters.
With the 2008 election in full
gear, campaign strategists are looking to new ways to incorporate the
younger generation in the election. Ten years ago they solved this problem
through Rock the Vote. Today, campaign strategists
are turning to Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and other internet sites to gain support
from the young.
During the 2004
election, Facebook was just starting up and YouTube did not yet exist. Today,
both senators Obama and McCain have created online communities through
these sites and others. Obama alone has over 1 million Facebook friends
and another 650,000 friends on Myspace -- a figure larger than some states.
With both the Democratic and
Republican parties dueling it out to claim a part of the virtual world,
one might ask why all this fuss to target the youth? The internet is
being used as a battleground to target the youth because of their value
in the election this year. Politicians and their campaign strategists
have come to realize that college-aged voters are the most tech-savy generation, and use
the internet as a means of vital communication.
These new online campaigns
not only help politicians, but allow the younger generation to have
more of a say in the election, while keeping up to date on the election
itself. Anna Markwica, a 19-year-old study-abroad student at John
Cabot University, says, "the online websites for both parties continues
to grow by the day and represent a new form of communications... There are Facebook profile pages for nearly
all candidates, multiple Facebook groups for McCain and Obama and also Myspace pages.”
Here are some other election-related sites worth watching:
NBC in conjunction with Myspace
launched Decision ’08 earlier this year. This website shows election news, polls, discussion
forums, debate video clips, and other pertinent information relating
to the campaign. In June, 2007, CNN and YouTube collaborated on the
CNN/Youtube Debates series as well.
The CNN-YouTube Debates are televised debates
where the questions are submitted through YouTube. TechPresident is a website dedicated to how the election candidates are using the
web, and how the web is using the candidates.
Both the Republican and Democratic
parties have provided valiant efforts into enticing the youth to vote.
But come November 4th, we will find out whose efforts were strong enough
to gain the youth vote.
ROME, Oct. 7 - The word “Change,” the election theme of Democratic Party presidential nominee Barack Obama, appears to be echoing around the Earth, and here in Italy too.
This U.S. presidential campaign, the long-lasting and most expensive thus far, has captivated viewers from all over the globe.
It started with the Democratic Party. Everyone was tuned in to see if either a woman, Hillary Clinton, or an Afro-American candidate, Obama would gain the Party nominee. John McCain came visibly into the scene after the Democratic candidate was elected.
Europeans’ direct interest in this electoral campaign was well described by Silvio Fagiolo, an ex-Italian ambassador to Germany, who spoke at the “One Month To Go” round-table discussion on October 1 at John Cabot University. He said there is an essential partnership between Europe and the United States financially, politically, and socially. He added that Europe has “an emotional attachment” to the United States and that the message of change resonates greatly. Europe approves Obama’s “language of compromise” on foreign policy while it dislikes McCain’s complete focus on winning the war on terror, he added.
What spread Obama and his motto even more to the Italian people were the elections in April 2008. Walter Veltroni, presidential candidate of Italy's Democratic Party used a version of Obama’s “Yes We Can” in its campaign slogan, “Si Puo’ Fare”.
Italy seems to certainly favor Obama. Erminia Abbuonandi, an Italian
ENLUS student at John Cabot University says, “I would definitely vote
for Obama because he is charismatic, and I think he would be a good
president because McCain is too conservative”. Another Italian
degree-seeking student, Davide Ianiello, agrees with Erminia, adding
he's not quite sure what McCain looks like, an indication of just how
much media attention the Illinois senator receives.