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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Italy

Taormina FilmFest makes its return with 11 independent European productions

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- Running 11–19 July in both physical and virtual form, the festival features 14 first and second works in competition, 12 documentaries and a tribute to Giuseppe Tornatore and Ennio Morricone

Taormina FilmFest makes its return with 11 independent European productions
Oskar & Lilli - Where No One Knows Us by Arash T Riahi

With fourteen first or second works in its Main Competition, and playing host to a further twelve documentaries, eleven independent European productions and four special events, the 66th Taormina FilmFest, directed by Leo Gullotta and Francesco Calogero, has sprung back to life with an Official Selection comprising over 40 premieres, which are screening in cinemas - as well as streaming online for the very first time - between 11 – 19 July. Every day, at 7pm and then again at 9.30pm, Taormina’s Palazzo dei Congressi is organising daily double screenings of films within the International Competition, a section dedicated to debut works, while the online MYmovies.it schedule is offering an even greater wealth of material, available for 24 hours, in the form of follow-up info, video documents, archive images and guest contributions, uploaded on a day to day basis.

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Equal representation of the sexes has been achieved across the festival’s three competitive sections – exactly 50% of the directors selected are women – by way of works such as the European titles Oskar & Lilli - Where No One Knows Us [+see also:
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by Arash T. Riahi (Austria); Jiyan [+see also:
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by Süheyla Schwenk (Germany), which was awarded the Ecumenic Jury Award at 2020’s Max Ophüls Prize Festival and the Audience Award at the Entrevues Belfort Film Festival; Mater [+see also:
film review
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interview: Jure Pavlović
film profile
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by Jure Pavlović (Croatia/Serbia/France/Bosnia Herzegovina), which was honoured at the Belgrade Festival in March; Charter [+see also:
film review
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interview: Amanda Kernell
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by Amanda Kernell (Sweden), selected for Sundance 2020; Uncle [+see also:
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by Frelle Petersen (Denmark); A Thief's Daughter [+see also:
film review
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interview: Belén Funes
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by Belén Funes (Spain), in competition in San Sebastián 2019, where its protagonist Greta Fernández bagged a trophy; Perfumes [+see also:
film review
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interview: Grégory Magne
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by Grégory Magne (France) and The King Dies by Laura Angiulli (Italy). The latter, based on the stage play "Richard II" by William Shakespeare, scooped the Best Female Director award at the 2019 London Independent Film Awards.

Jostling alongside these titles are Our Own by Jeanne Leblanc (Canada), Critical Thinking by John Leguizamo (USA), The Lunchroom by Ezequiel Radusky (Argentina), The Cloud In Her Room by Xinyuan Zheng Lu (China/Hong Kong), The Alien by Nader Saeivar (Iran) and Heart And Bones by Ben Lawrence (Australia).

Meanwhile, works showcasing out-of-competition in the “Filmmaker in Sicilia” space include special screenings of Io lo so chi siete by Alessandro Colizzi, a docufilm dedicated to mafia victim Antonino Agostino; La storia vergognosa by Nella Condorelli, exploring mass Italian emigration to the Americas in the early Twentieth Century, and Alessandro Lunardelli’s second title, closing the festival, La regola d’oro, a film shot for the most part in Taormina, starring Simone Liberati, Edoardo Pesce, Barbora Bobulova and Hadas Yaron.

On 18 July, the newly re-opened Teatro Antico will host the world premiere of Devotion, a film directed by Giuseppe Tornatore and featuring original music from Ennio Morricone produced by Dolce&Gabbana. Closing ceremony guests will include Emmanuelle Seigner, Oscar winner Vittorio Storaro who will accept the Lifetime Achievement Cariddi d’Oro, and Willem Dafoe and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau who will both be honoured with the traditional Taormina Arte Award.

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(Translated from Italian)

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