Taormina Filmfest Unveils 64th Edition With Over 50 Films Along With Master Classes And In Conversations

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The sixty-fourth edition of the Taormina FilmFest, produced by Videobank and taking place July 14-20 under the new artistic direction of Silvia Bizio and Gianvito Casadonte, has unveiled its full program and attending talent from America, France, Italy and the UK.

Taormina Filmfest will include over 50 films and 36 Premieres; 14 World Premieres, 12 European Premieres, and over 10 Italian premieres, including documentaries and shorts.  Confirmed talent include Marion Cotillard, Rupert Everett, Richard Dreyfuss, Matthew Modine, Terry Gilliam, Maurizio Millenotti, Michele Placido, Sabina Guzzanti, Monica Guerritore, and other Special Guests.

The screenings will be held in the halls of the Palazzo dei Congressi, where Master Classes and In Conversations featuring special guests will also be hosted.

The opening ceremony, which will take place on July 14 in Messina, will pay tribute to Carlo Vanzina, who passed away on July 8.  Through more than 70 films and series, the renowned director/producer captured many changes in Italian society, from A spasso nel tempo to Call Girl, and most recently Caccia al Tesoro.  Il Cielo In Una Stanza will be screened that evening.

The Taormina FilmFest’s all-female jury will be headed by President and producer Martha de Laurentiis, and will also include actor, director, producer Maria Grazia Cucinotta, producer Donatella Palermo, producer Eleonora Granata, and producer Adriana Chiesa Di Palma.  

The prestigious Golden Tauro Awards, along with the Taormina Arte Awards, will be presented during the Closing Night on July 20 in the historical open air Greek Theatre of Taormina, by host and journalist Salvo La Rosa.  The jury will give 5 awards to the in-competition films for best director, best producer, best screenplay, best actor and best actress.

“This year, the festival is honoring films directed by women along with strong social themes from immigration, to violence against women, to refugees,” commented Bizio and Casadonte.  “This is another reason why we chose a jury made up of only women, producers and actresses.”

During its seven-day run, the festival will be welcoming a myriad of local and international special guests, including Marion Cotillard, Rupert Everett, Richard Dreyfuss, Matthew Modine, Terry Gilliam, Maurizio Millenotti,  Michele Placido, Sabina Guzzanti, Monica Guerritore, Ricky Tognazzi, Simona Izzo,  Beppe Cino, Tony Sperandeo, Pietro Valsecchi, Michela Andreozzi, Martha de Laurentiis, Maria Grazia Cucinotta, Adriana Chiesa Di Palma, Dr. Pietro Bartolo and Maria Sole Tognazzi, among others.

Co-Artistic Director Bizio, who previously acted as a U.S. Consultant for the Taormina FilmFest, added, “We have created an impressive and exciting lineup of important and diverse films, addressing the beauty and classical sophistication of this festival.  After a couple years of uncertainty, we are deeply proud and humbled to be back and unveiling the 64th edition.  We look forward to a bright future for the Taormina FimFest.”

The full program is below:

OUT OF COMPETITION

Angel Face by Vanessa Filho – FRANCE – Italian Premiere

Army of One by Larry Charles – USA

Dark Crimes by Alexandros Avranas starring Jim Carrey – USA – Italian Premiere

Gotti by Kevin Connolly starring John Travolta – USA – Italian Premiere

Ocean’s Eight by Gary Ross – USA – Italian Premiere

The Tale by Jennifer Fox – Italian Premiere

Transfert by Massimiliano Russo – ITALY – World Premiere

Trauma is a Time Machine by Angelica Zollo – USA – European Premiere

SPECIAL EVENTS

In Bici Senza Sella by Alessandro Giuggioli – ITALY

Io e lei by Maria Sole Tognazzi – ITALY

Viaggio Sola by Maria Sole Tognazzi – ITALY

DOCUMENTARIES

Acqua e zucchero: Carlo di Palma, I Colori della Vita by Fariborz Kamkari – ITALY

Ccà Semu by Luca Vullo (30 mins) – ITALY

Country for Old Men by Pietro Jona e Stefano Cravero – ITALY

Freedom Must Not Die at Sea by Alfredo Lo Piero – World Premiere – Screening will be attended by a representation of the Italian Coast Guards, Doctors without Borders, Amnesty International, and 'Cara di Mineo, the largest' reception center in Europe.

Greetings from Austin by Vittorio Bongiorno – ITALY – World Premiere

Hands of God by Riccardo Romani, an Alfonso Cuarón’s presentation – ITALY – World Premiere

Il Raccontatore by Giancarlo Mogavero (30 mins) – ITALY – World Premiere

La Libertà non Deve Morire in Mare by Alfredo Lo Piero – ITALY – World Premiere

La Storia Dimenticata di Camp Monticello by Matteo Borgardt – ITALY/USA – World Premiere

Like a Pebble in the Boot by Hélène Choquette – CANADA – European Premiere

Mikael by Massimiliano Varrese – ITALY – World Premiere

Prima che il gallo canti by Cosimo Damiano Damato – ITALY

Sara’ Paradiso by Gaetano di Lorenzo – ITALY

Setteponti Walkabout by Gianfranco Bonadies, Gianpaolo Capobianco, Michele Sammarco, Valeria Tisato – ITALY – World Premiere

Why Knot by Dhruv Dhawan – CANADA – International Premiere

SHORT FILMS

Al di la’ del mare by Fabio Schifilliti – ITALY

Le Piccole Cose by Emiliano Galigani – ITALY

Mercury by Khalil Lee – USA

Paura dell’ignoto by Gabriel Jenkinson – ITALY/USA

Piu’ data che promessa by Maria Grazia Nazzari – ITALY

Posso entrare by Fariborz Kamkari – ITALY

Pray for Rome by Ilaria Borrelli – ITALY

Sicily My Love by Michael Roberts – ITALY

Sunrise Road by Leopoldo Dondena – ITALY

Il compleanno di Alice by Maria Grazia Cucinotta – ITALY

MASTERCLASSES/CONVERSATIONS WITH THE AUTHOR

Moderated by Silvia Bizio

Maria Sole Tognazzi

Matthew Modine

Monica Guerritore

Pietro Valsecchi

Sabina Guzzanti

Terry Gilliam

PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBTION

Adolfo Franzò – Woman/Actress

Elisabetta Pandolfino – Scatto Mentale

SPECIAL AWARDS

The Angelo D’Arrigo Award presented by Laura Mancuso in memory of her husband, Champion Aviator Angelo D'Arrigo

The Paola Ferrari de Benedetti Award for a standout documentary

GOLDEN TAURO AWARDS

Maurizio Millenotti  

Matthew Modine

Marion Cotillard – Best Actress, Angel Face

Michele Placido

Richard Dreyfuss

Rupert Everett – Best Director and Actor for The Happy Prince

FILMS IN COLLABORATION WITH THE MONTH OF THE DOCUMENTARY, SELECTION OF DAVIDE MORABITO

Country for Old Men  

Greetings from Austin 

Hands of God 

Like a Pebble in the Boot

Setteponti Walkabout

Why Knot 

# # #

ABOUT TAORMINA FILMFEST

The Taormina FilmFest is one of the oldest festivals in the world and takes place in a wonderful small seaside town on the eastern coast of Sicily, not far from the Etna volcano and some of the most beautiful Greek and Roman ruins still standing. The main evening events are celebrated in the Greek Theatre, a magnificent 5,000-seat and 2,300-year-old open air theatre. This year, the 64th edition is taking place between July 14-20, 2018.

In the history of cinema, there has never been a period as fertile as the season that Italian Cinema lived between the 50’s and the beginning of the 70’s. It was Italian cinema that created the French Nouvelle Vague (Truffaut and friends wanted to imitate the figures of Rossellini and Visconti), it was Italian cinema that changed the way in which cinema talks about itself (with 8 1\2 by Fellini). At the center of all this, there has been the Taormina FilmFest, a place of excellence that defined the film season. Taormina is a place where the David di Donatello and the Nastri D’argento Awards were first celebrated. 

Almost every great actor, producer or director and many international stars have been on the stage of Teatro Antico, a magical and unique location-from Cary Grant to Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston and Gregory Peck, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. They have all been guests at the Festival in the same years of Mario Monicelli, Alessandro Gassman, Alberto Sordi and Monica Vitti. In more recent years, Robert De Niro, Oliver Stone, Jessica Lange, Michael Douglas, Colin Firth, Tom Cruise, among many others, have attended the festival. 

The Taormina FilmFest has managed to survive in its 64 years of history all the mutations of cinema, and still today offers numerous film discoveries and one of the most beautiful outdoor theaters of the world, The Greek Theatre.

For more information: www.taorminafilmfest.it 

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