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Jehovah’s Witnesses return to Rome this month for their annual gathering

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Over 8,000 visitors are expected to fill Rome’s hotels and restaurants for the next four weekends, as they’ll be in town for the Jehovah’s Witness convention at The Forum.

The Forum Manager Brent Poplin said roughly 2,000 people are set to attend the convention each weekend.

“We hosted them last year, and this year were able to get them four weekends straight,” he said.

The convention will run Friday to Sunday and on July 15-17, July 22-24 and July 29-31.

Poplin said his crews have already begun setting up for the event, and crews for the Jehovah Witnesses will start loading in their equipment on Thursday.

“It’s a pretty big group, the hotels should be full and restaurants should be full,” he said.

People from throughout Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina are expected to attend the event, said Juan Betances, spokesman for the Christian organization.

The event runs from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and there is no admission cost.

The convention will display short videos and full-length movies focusing on lessons of loyalty taught by Jesus, Job and King Hezekiah from the Bible.

The service will be conducted in Spanish, Betances said, and targets Spanish-speaking people in the Southeast.

Betances said the theme of the convention is “Remaining Loyal to Jehovah,” and it will focus on establishing loyal bonds between families through examples from the Bible.

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      Launching from Venice Days from Iceland will be “Heartstone,” a coming-of-ager set in a fishing village by first-timer Guomundur Arnar Guomundsson; from Australia there is 1980’s set kidnap thriller “Hounds of Love,” by Ben Young, who is also making his feature film debut.
      Croatian first-timer Hana Music is coming with dark and erotic family drama “Quit Staring At My Plate”; Filipino helmer Eduardo Roy Jr. (“Baby Factory,” “Quick Change”) will bring “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” about how a young teen couple hustling for  survival on the Manila streets deal with the kidnapping of their one-month-old child.
      Rounding out the competition from Colombia is “Guilty Men,” described in the press notes as a “contemporary Western” set against the backdrop of corruption and brutal politics; “Polina” a ballet epic co-directed by prominent French dancer/choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and his wife Valerie Muller; “Sami Blood,” a look at 1930’s racism against the Sami people in the North of Sweden, directed by first-timer Amanda Kernell; and illegal immigrants romancer “The Road To Mandalay,” by Taiwan-based Burmese helmer Midi Z (“Ice Poison,” “City of Jade”).
      Multihyphenate Canadian provocateur Bruce LaBruce (“Gerontophilia,” “Pierrot Lunaire”) will preside over the jury that will award the Venice Days Award worth Euros 20,000 ($22,000) to the top competition title. Competition entries will also vie for the section’s audience award, while all first works are eligible for Venice’s Luigi De Laurentiis nod for best first work across all the Venice fest sections.
      The 12th edition of Venice Days will run August 31-September 10.
      VENICE DAYS LINEUP
      “The War Show,” Obaidah Zytoon, Andreas Dalsgaard (Denmark, Finland): opener. In competition.
      COMPETITION
      “Heartstone,” Guomundur Arnar Guomundsson (Iceland, Denmark)
      “Hounds of Love,” Ben Young (Australia)
      “Indivisible,” Edoardo De Angelis (Italy)
      “Quit Staring at My Plate,” Hana Jusic (Croatia, Denmark)
      “Pamilya Ordinaryo,” Eduardo Roy, Jr. (Philippines)
      “Guilty Men,” Ivan D. Gaona (Colombia)
      “Polina,” Valerie Muller, Angelin Preljocaj (France)
      “Worldly Girl,” Marco Danieli (Italy)
      “Sami Blood,” Amanda Kernell (Sweden, Denmark, Norway)
      “The Road to Mandalay,” Midi Z (Myanmar, Taiwan, China, France, Germany)
      WOMEN’S TALES PROJECT (shorts), in collaboration with Prada’s Miu Miu Label
      “Seed,” Naomi Kawase (Italy, Japan)
      “That One Day,” Crystal Moselle (Italy, U.S.)
      SPECIAL EVENTS
      “Always Shine,” Sophia Takal (U.S.)
      “Coffee,” Cristiano Bortone (Italy, Belgium, China)
      “Il Profumo Del Tempo Delle Favole,” Mauro Caputo (Italy)
      “Rocco,” Thierry Demaiziere, Alban Teurlai (France)
      “Vangelo,” Pippo Delbono (Italy, Belgium)
      “You Never Had It – An Evening with Bukowski,” Matteo Borgardt (U.S., Mexico, Italy)

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