ITALY (eTN) – As the Taormina Film Fest prepares to raise the curtain on its 57th edition in Sicily on June 11 to 18, a line-up rich in films, directors, and stars was unveiled at a press conference in Rome. “In the five years that I have had the privilege to direct the festival,” commented Deborah Young, “I have seen the festival grow richer each year in terms of quality of our films and special programs, world-wide media coverage, and the response of the international film community, who have put Taormina back on their calendars. Major Hollywood studios, sales agents, and producers now actively plan on film titles to propose for Taormina. The exceptional films we are showing this year reflect this new friendly attitude.
“I’m proud to have seen our audience grow year by year, and to see young people and film lovers from around the world flooding the streets of Taormina. I am particularly proud of the dedication and determination with which my excellent staff has succeeded in organizing a festival of world quality. After the festival’s great leap forward of the past two years, we can justifiably boast that the Golden Tauro, a symbol of Taormina’s indomitable spirit, has triumphed over all obstacles.”
Taormina Arte Award Winners 2011
The Taormina Arte Awards for 2011 have been assigned to three major figures on the international scene who will accept their prizes, designed by Gerardo Sacco, on stage at the Teatro Antico:
• Monica Bellucci, June 12
• Oliver Stone, June 13
• Tarak Ben Ammar June, 16
Taormina 2011 Highlights
Palestinian director and actor Elia Suleiman will receive the Fondazione Roma Mediterraneo award for Dialogue Between Cultures, presented by the Foundation’s president, Prof. Avv. Emmanuele F. M. Emanuele. Jeffrey Katzenberg will accept, on behalf of DreamWorks, The Hollywood Reporter award for Cinematic Excellence to DreamWorks Animation.
Both awards have been designed by Le Colonne of Taormina.
The Maghreb Guest of Honor
Taormina is taking place in a moment of great tension for the Mediterranean. Since it assumed a Mediterranean identity in 2007, the festival has become a focal point for the film culture of the region. This year they have chosen to focus on three North African countries – Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco – undergoing enormous social change, whose filmmakers have been at the center of dramatic political events. As guests of honor, the North African countries have a special place reserved for them at the festival this year. Invited for the festival’s salute are Mohamad Diab, Habib Attia, Mourad Ben Cheikh, Leila Kilani, Soufia Issami, Ibrahim El Batout, and Tarak Ben Ammar, who will present new films and participate in a round table called Maghreb Revolution.
Italy’s first 3D film at the Teatro Antico of Taormina
After opening on June 11 with Kung Fu Panda 2 in 3D, the Taormina Film Fest is proud to present the first Italian film in 3D, on the giant screen of the Teatro Antico. Francesco Gasperoni is the director of Parking Lot, shot in 3D using an innovative system he created that allows 3D cinema on a budget. “What’s so strange about that?” asks the director, “The universe has been free in 3D for billions of year, and the theater for 6,000. Today, thanks to low-budget 3D, the cinema has a chance to catch up.”
Tickets for the world première will soon go on sale online at www.taorminafilmfest.it . Parking Lot is a claustrophobic thriller set in the underground parking garage of a shopping center. It stars Harriet MacMasters-Green, who wrote the screenplay together with the Italo-American Gasperoni.