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FESTIVALS Italy

Taormina expands horizons for films and women

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Taormina expands horizons for films and women

A truly international affair, the 55th Taormina in Sicily Film Festival, as promised, has been offering films from throughout the Mediterranean (in its main competition) and world.

The European titles to have played in the Mediterranea Competition so far are Antonio Capuano’s Giallo? (Italy) and At Any Second by German director Jan Fehse, winner of Best New Director at this year’s Bavarian Film Awards.

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This year, the majestic Teatro Antico, with its view of Mt. Etna, has been offering mostly American fare. However, last night’s audiences were treated to the international premiere of Hermine Huntgeburth’s Effi Briest [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(like At Any Second, also starring Sebastian Koch of The Lives of Others [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Florian Henckel von Donners…
interview: Ulrich Muehe
film profile
]
).

The evening’s feature was preceded by a sneak peek at Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baaria (see news) – an interview with the director from the set, along with a short trailer.

The focus Who’s Afraid of Strong Women? kicked off with today’s roundtable discussion that included festival director Deborah Young; Italian actress Stefania Orsola Garello; Pietra Detassis, editor of monthly film magazine Ciak; and jury member Aimee Mullins and legendary actress Jessica Lange, both of the US. The event was moderated by Cineuropa.org president and former president of the EU Cultural Commission, Luciana Castellina.

The cultural difference among the participants was striking, and seemed to prove a greater gender inequality in Italy. Questions from older gentlemen on why the women onstage refused to speak of femininity and vulnerability, and why they no longer wanted dominating men further animated the discussions.

The talk turned to cinema most when Lange was asked how she felt about aging in Hollywood, to which she replied: “I do a lot of other things, I’m a photographer, I write. It’s not like with my age something is ending and I’m going to be dropped into a black hole with nothing to do!”

Tomorrow’s “strong women” will be Fanny Ardant, who comes to Taormina to present her directorial debut Ashes and Blood [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and hold a masterclass, and Dominique Sanda. Friday, Catherine Denueve will hold court in a Q&A with Henri Behar.

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