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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Italy

Back in front of the big screen, everything is ready for the Taormina Film Fest

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- The Sicilian festival will be held physically from 27 June to 3 July, with 6 first and second features in competition and 7 national and international premieres

Back in front of the big screen, everything is ready for the Taormina Film Fest
Occhi Blu by Michela Cescon

Six first and second features in competition and seven national and international premieres, a selection designed for a diverse audience and with a focus on different genres, styles and languages — ranging from the family film to horror, from dark comedy to drama, from animation to arthouse. Taking place from 27 June to 3 July at the Teatro Antico, the 67th edition of the Taormina Film Fest, the first under the direction of the trio Francesco Alò, Alessandra De Luca and Federico Pontiggia, is under the sign of rebirth and of cinema as a shared experience.

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It will begin with the road comedy Boys [+see also:
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by Davide Ferrario (in Italian cinemas from 1 July), starring Neri Marcorè, Marco Paolini, Giovanni Storti and Giorgio Tirabassi: an all-male story about four friends who were members of a successful band in the 70s and now find themselves grappling with the ambitions of the past and the world of today. Women, by contrast, are the protagonists in front of and behind the camera in the debut feature from Michela Cescon called Occhi Blu [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a film noir which focuses on an unusual woman played by Valeria Golino, slipping through the folds of a metropolitan, nervous and violent Rome; also in the cast are director Ivano De Matteo and French actor Jean-Hugues Anglade.

Particular attention is paid this year to Italian authors, with interesting and unexpected titles ranging from the disturbing dystopia of The Land of Sons [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Claudio Cupellini, to the poignant intimacy of Atlas [+see also:
film review
interview: Niccolò Castelli
film profile
]
by Niccolò Castelli, and the innovative horror of A Classic Horror Story [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Roberto De Feo and Paolo Strippoli, which marks Netflix’s debut at the Taormina Film Fest.

European cinema is also present, with German film Next Door [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Daniel Brühl
film profile
]
, the feature debut from actor Daniel Brühl, and the French film The Rose Maker by Pierre Pinaud, while countries beyond Europe are represented by the Chinese film Long Day by Yumo Luo, and by two directors: Israeli filmmaker Tanya Lavie with Honeymood and Iranian director Rezvan Pakpour with Fractal. The jury of the international competition is headed by Susanna Nicchiarelli, director of Nico, 1988 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
film profile
]
and Miss Marx [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Susanna Nicchiarelli
film profile
]
.

Among the special screenings will be Summer of Soul, about the iconic concert of the Harlem Cultural Festival of 1969 (often referred to as the Black Woodstock) featuring B.B. King, Nina Simone and Stevie Wonder among others. Assembled by director Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson with unprecedented access to archival material, the film invites a reflection on racial issues in the United States.

The thirteen previews of films in the official selection will be accompanied by encounters with the protagonists, exhibitions and panels. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of the great Nino Manfredi, the film journalists of the SNGCI will hand out the “Premio Manfredi” to an actor who has shown great talent in comedy and beyond. Director Ferzan Özpetek will also be present at Taormina to meet the public for the twentieth anniversary of His Secret Life and to share his fascinating artistic journey.

Concluding the event will be the family film Peter Rabbit 2 - The Runaway, an adventurous mix of animation and live action directed by Will Gluck, which will be screened simultaneously at the Teatro Antico and in Rome as part of the TimVision Floating Theatre Summer Fest organised by Alice nella Città. 

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(Translated from Italian)

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