The 2016 Rome Film Fest is less than two weeks away, and Mazda will be there again for the fourth consecutive year as an exclusive partner to the 11th annual edition of the event. Highlights include the Mazda MX-5 drive-in, whose opening night patrons will be an international group of MX-5 fans.

It’s a natural collaboration between the two organisations, both of which put people first, aiming to deliver an extraordinary experience for the senses. The Rome Film Fest judges itself on the level of emotion and admiration viewers have for the films it screens, while Mazda builds cars for those who love to drive, looking to put a smile on the face of those behind the wheel with every journey.

Combining the passion for driving and film, the company has invited owners and fans of its iconic roadster from across Europe to bring their cars to an exclusive open-air film experience in Rome’s EUR district*. On 15 October, they and media representatives from all over Europe and as far away as Japan and Australia will inaugurate the Mazda MX-5 drive-in with a screening of Moonlight, a highly acclaimed new film from American director Barry Jenkins. The drive-in is to be set up for the event on a square opposite the Palazzo dei Congressi with room for 100 vehicles. Later that evening, Mazda is unveiling its stunning MX-5 RF (Retractable Fastback) during a gathering at the nearby Archivio Centrale dello Stato (Central State Archive) building.

Mazda is also spotlighting its Drive Together brand message this year, an idea that owes much to the MX-5 and Jinba Ittai, which means “rider and horse as one body”. Jinba Ittai originated as the philosophy behind the MX-5, which was first launched more than 25 years ago, and it’s a sensation Mazda strives to offer drivers of all its vehicles today. A rather avant-garde approach in an age where automation plays in increasingly dominant role, encouraging active participation – like the Rome Film Fest, whose main prize is a people’s choice award.

As in previous years, the carmaker has erected the Mazda Cinema Hall, an 800-seat venue in the centre of the cinema village. A stone’s throw away from the Auditorium Parco della Musica, the main festival venue, Mazda Cinema Hall will host 30 screenings. The carmaker has also organised the nearby Mazda Lounge, a place to see and meet international stars like Tom Hanks, Oliver Stone, Viggo Mortensen and Meryl Streep. Here visitors can look forward to an innovative opportunity to experience Drive Together for themselves. Otherwise, 50-plus Mazda vehicles will be available for shuttle services around Rome during the 13-23 October event.

#DriveTogether

* Designed to host the later cancelled 1942 World’s Fair, EUR (“Esposizione Universale Roma” or World’s Fair Rome) is an example of the Italian rationalism architectural style. Some of the country’s greatest architects worked on the project.