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47 years of the
TaorminaFilmFest

Since 1955, in one of the most beautiful places on earth, one of Italy's oldest and most prestigious festivals has been held. Past directors have included Gian Luigi Rondi, Guglielmo Biraghi and Enrico Ghezzi. Now known as the TaorminaFilmFest, it is organized by the Taormina Arte Committee and is directed by Felice Laudadio.
Through the years, the festival has contributed to the discovery of some of the world's most respected filmmakers. Among the great personalities of cinema who have taken a bow on the stage of Taormina's Greek-Roman Theater are Federico Fellini, Ingrid Bergman, Roberto Rossellini, Tennessee Williams, Silvana Mangano, Vittorio De Sica, Cary Grant, Charlton Heston, Dino De Laurentiis, Carlo Ponti, Sophia Loren, Marlene Dietrich, Audrey Hepburn, Darryl Zanuck, Gregory Peck, Joan Crawford, Joseph Losey, Yul Brinner, John Huston, Richard Burton, Liz Taylor, Peter O'Toole, Rita Hayworth, Bernardo Bertolucci, Richard Brooks, Peter Ustinov, Warren Beatty, Julie Christie, Gabriel Byrne, Ingrid Thulin, Sergio Leone, Henry Fonda, Michelangelo Antonioni, Burt Lancaster, Liv Ullman, Jack Nicholson, Sidney Pollack, Robert Altman, Jodie Foster, Roberto Benigni, Andreij Tarkovskij, Rainer W. Fassbinder, John Schlesinger, Gérard Depardieu, Romy Schneider, Alain Delon, Michel Piccoli, Robert Duvall, Ben Gazzara, Woody Allen, Nagisa Oshima, Kathleen Turner, Gabriel Byrne, Susan Sarandon, Jean Negulesco, Mike Leigh, Claude Chabrol, John Malkovich, Robert Parrish, Samuel Fuller, Amos Gitai, Michael Cimino, Dario Argento, Naomi Campbell, Monica Bellucci, Matt Dillon, Vittorio Gassman, Gina Lollobrigida, Anna Magnani, Susan Hayward, Leslie Caron, Anthony Quinn, Claudia Cardinale, Anthony Perkins, Shirley MacLaine, Jean-Louis Trintignant, Monica Vitti, Peter Fonda, Melina Mercouri, Rex Harrison, Vanessa Redgrave, Werner Herzog etc.

Presentation

After last year's much-publicized success, the TaorminaFilmFest is known as Italy's fastest rising "new" festival - one which boasts a 47-year tradition, screening films in the ancient Greek Theater in the breath-taking town of Taormina, Sicily (reached via the Catania airport, one hour from Rome). Since 1999, the TFF has been under the artistic direction of Felice Laudadio, former director of the Venice Film Festival, the EuropaCinema Festival, the MystFest and currently President of Cinecittà Holding.
Since 1999, the festival has radically shifted gears. We have moved to earlier summer dates to allow our premiered films the maximum summer boxoffice potential, using Taormina's international media coverage as a springboard. We have also adopted the winning formula of screening movies "Made in English" - new films coming from Australia and New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, the U.K., Canada and the U.S. and, beginning this year, films made in English in other countries as well. Because the festival is non-competitive, films are eligible for competition in subsequent events like Locarno, Montreal, Toronto, San Sebastian, etc.
Taormina's greatest drawing card, however, is its relaxed atmosphere, where a choice selection of cutting edge directors, producers and actors from all over the globe can meet at their leisure and talk about the art of filmmaking. Last year, over screenings, dinner, drinks, swimming, strolling and late-night bars, the festival brought together Tom Cruise, John Woo, Liam Neeson, Peter Weir, Jane Campion, Norman Jewison, Melanie Griffith, Greta Scacchi, Franco Nero and others. Every night in the Greek Theater, major actors and directors appear on stage before an audience of 7-8,000, where they are the honored recipients of the Taormina Arte Diamond Award.
In addition to a nearly complete panorama of Italian distributors and journalists, the festival is attended by a large number of international press and professionals.

Program 2001

* Nine major motion picture premiers every night at 9:30 on the giant screen in the magnificent Greek Theater, overlooking the Mediterranean sea and the volcano Mount Etna.
* Eight premiers from the main program every afternoon at 6:00 in the Palazzo dei Congressi, in the main theater seating 1000.
* The presentation of the prestigious Taormina Arte Diamond Award to nine key film personalities from English-speaking countries. Award recipients personally choose two representative films to be screened during the day as a tribute to their careers.
* A wide sampling of Italian cinema, including a 15-film retrospective dedicated to Luigi Comencini, a 3-film tribute to Ettore Scola, a salute to Sicilian director Franco Indovina and the premier of a new Italian film. Sicilian filmmakers will hold a three-day open meeting with producers, during which time their films and videos will be shown.
* Nine Italian classics lovingly restored by the Philip Morris Association's Film Project.
* In addition, Italy's top film talents will be in Taormina on opening night for the prestigious Nastri d'Argento awards, given to the year's finest by the national film press association.
· The festival publishes a major catalog illustrating the entire program. All films are shown in English with Italian subtitles. We do not screen short films, documentaries or animated cartoons.