Marco Muller, the new director of the Rome Film Festival, is undoubtedly giving the event a makeover as he moves the focus from stars to films, rejuvenating the competition section and providing space in the line-up for some formidable debuts.
One of them is The Motel Life, the extraordinary first feature by the brothers Gabriel and Alan Polsky which proved popular with audiences and critics alike.
It's a hypnotic tale of two brothers living on the fringe of Reno, Nevada.
When one of them is involved in a serious accident, it forces them to choose between running away or facing reality.
The Marc Aurelio Best Movie Award went to Larry Clark, one of the most controversial and influential filmmakers around. His Marfa Girl, set in Texas, tells of the clash between whites and the Mexican minority.
A coming-of-age story of sex, drugs, violence and racism it's a challenging watch.
Sharp and funny, Pappi Corsicato's Another Woman's Face is a comedy about Bella, a TV presenter and her greedy plastic surgeon husband.
The great cast make it a thoroughly enjoyable film and there's an excellent performance by Lino Guanciale playing a Che Guevara-esque employee who stands up for workers' rights in the plastic surgery clinic.
There was a strong Russian presence at the festival, including the hugely enjoyable Celestial Wives Of Meadow Mari by Alexey Federchenko.
The film is 23 short stories about the Marij women who live on the banks of the river Volga in Russia and it's a graceful and powerful exercise in magic realism which reflects collective historical memory and ancient tradition.
Russian director Kira Muratova's Eternal Homecoming is a cryptic and fascinating tale which pays tribute to the actor's craft and the games cinema gets up to in telling stories.
Diverting and entertaining, which is what's to be expected from any film by the Iranian Marain Satapriy's, Gang Of The Jotas is a wacky take on the that familiar plot device, the suitcase mix-up at the airport.
In it Sataprij mixes the familiar genres of road movie, comedy and thriller and the result is an ingenious and unpredictable treat.
The film was shot in 11 days, with Sataprij's husband, her editor and herself taking lead roles and this innovative approach provides a great sense of stylistic freedom.
Other screenings of note were Tricked by Paul Verhoeven a film based on 700 scripts written by the public, Johnnie To's Drug War and Takashi Miike's Lesson of Evil.