The 47th Taormina Film Festival will open with the assignment of
the Nastri d'Argento prizes, awarded by the Italian Journalists
Union. The festival, organized by the Taormina Arte Committee with
the support of the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities
and directed by Felice Laudadio, will take place from Friday June
29 to Saturday July 7. Screenings will be held in the ancient open-air
Greek Theater and in the theaters of the Palazzo dei Congressi.
On opening night the director Ettore Scola, who is being given a
tribute by the festival, will receive the first Taormina Arte Diamond
Award. This will be followed by a show-stopping concert performed
by film director Emir Kusturica and his 17-member No Smoking Band.
Closing night, July 7, will also be filled with music and cinema.
During the day, which is dedicated to Africa and to supporting children
with AIDS, the singer Miriam Makeba will give a recital in the Greek
Theater, where she will receive the Taormina Arte Diamond Award.
The festival will screen two of Makeba's films, "Sarafina"
by Darrell Roodt (1992) and "The Voices of Sarafina" by
Nigel Nobel (1989). The TaorminaFilmFest 2001 is directed Felice
Laudario and by a steering committee composed of Deborah Young,
Patrizia Prosperi e Carla Cattani. This year's festival is dedicated
to the memory of film critic Guglielmo Braghi, who directed the
festival for sixteen years before being named director of the Venice
Film Festival. Seven thousand spectators seated before the immense
screen of the Greek Theater, where a state-of-the-art projection
and sound system have been installed, will see the European premiers
of Evolution, directed by Ivan Reitman and starring David Duchovny,
Julianne Moore, Dan Akroyd, Orlando Jones e Sean William Scott (USA,
June 30); Enigma by Michael Apted, starring Kate Winslet and Dougray
Scott (UK, July 1); The Hole by Nick Hamm, starring Thora Birch
(UK, July 2); Kiss Kiss Bang Bang by Stewart Sugg, starring Stellan
Skarsgard e Chris Penn (UK, July 3); South West 9, a surprising
debut by the 26-year-old British director Richard Parry (UK, July
5); Anniversary Party, the directing debut of actress Jennifer Jason
Leigh, co-directed by Alan Cumming, starring Gwyneth Paltrow, Kevin
Kline and Jennifer Beals (USA, July 6); and on closing night a surprise
film to be announced along with the name of other personalities
invited to Taormina.