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:: TOWARDS THE 50 YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE TAORMINA FILM FESTIVAL

Finally back to the “glamour” of the past when it was the second most important festival in Italy after Venice, the Taormina Film Festival is getting ready for June 2004 to celebrate its 50th edition with a program that we have been working on for a while. A few hints of the 2004 program will be announced during this edition, as, for example, a tribute that Taormina Arte will dedicate to a great and multi-faceted artist like Domenico Modugno, on occasion of the 10 years from his premature death, “investigating” – with the collaboration of his wife Franca Gandolfi, first of all – on Modugno film-theater- television actor and naturally on the exceptional composer and performer-star. The many commitments that have kept us engaged with the 50th anniversary hasn’t yet hindered our dedication to this year’s program. We in fact wish to point out two special events that are, willingly, in some way countered with each other: a Tribute in honor of one of the most important and innovative European directors, Miklós Jancsó, whose last four films are part of a “tetralogy” that will be screened during the first two days of the festival; and the presentation of the last labor of Steven Spielberg, this time in the guise of a 15 hour-long film producer, Taken, inspired to his mythical masterpiece, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Divided into 10 chapters, Taken has the unusual peculiarity, from a productive point of view, of being shot by ten different directors, one per episode. Yet, the directors were capable of giving a (high) quality evenness and an (impelling) narrative homogeneity to the whole saga during which, over a period of 50 years, one after another, four generations confront UFOs. Other novelties enrich the program of the 2003 Taormina BNL FilmFest, adding to the traditional categories of the festival that regularly offer the best films found all around the world (“Worldwide Cinema” Category) and more spectacular films – not less important on a quality level – that are part of the “Great Cinema at the Antique Theater” Category. The first novelty is represented by the so-called “Cinema Lessons”: six meetings – connected to six films – entrusted to major directors like Maurizio Nichetti, Ferzan Ozpetek, Roberta Torre and Giuseppe Piccioni; prestigious actors like Fabrizio Gifuni long presidency of the European Union that we hope will contribute to a better harmony of the legislation necessary to re-launch European Cinema worldwide, and in Europe itself. Also, from all around the world, on the magnificent scenario of the Antique Theater, seven great personalities winners of the “Taormina Arte Award for Cinematic Excellence” will be arriving. Three grand dame, actresses like Mariangela Melato, Jeanne Moreau and Marisa Paredes, as well as the younger yet not less symbolic Ornella Muti, two Maestros like Miklós Jancsó and Joel Schumacher, and an incredible actor, as well as an excellent director lately, Robert Duvall, whose charismatic fascination two years ago dominated the immense screen of the Greek Theater on the images of Apocalypse Now Redux by Francis Coppola, while above in the sky tall tongues of fire fantastically spit from the Volcano Etna, exhibiting a sudden eruption on the night of the screening. As always in these last years, Italian cinema will be largely represented at the Antique Theater for the Nastri d’argento ceremony. The Italian Oscars will be assigned by the Sindacato nazionale dei giornalisti cinematografici (Italian Journalists National Union) presided by Laura Delli Colli. The event – that will be broadcasted throughout Italy on public channel RAI 1 on June 14, not by chance – this year is particularly important, due to the comforting resumption that accompanied our most recent film season, awarded by consistent results on the domestic market (30% growth) but also to a renovated and positive reception of the so-called militant critics. The dates of the 2003 Taormina BNL FilmFest this year have radically changed. We slowly passed from the end of July in 1999, to the beginning of July in 2002, at last choosing the first ten days of June this year. The reason is simple. This festival would like to contribute, also acting as a launching pad, to lengthen the film season up to 12 months a year, just like in any other “normal” country, materially supporting the summer film releases. Naturally, when these good films are made available. This will also be the core of the Summer Screenings (Giornate professionali del cinema) that will take place for the first time in Taormina right before the festival. The future dates of the 50th edition are already confirmed: June 11-19, 2004. Therefore Arrivederci to the 50th Edition.

P.S. – If the results of this year’s festival are excellent, as they should be, as always we owe it – asides to Antonino Panzera and to his precious Taormina staff, in primis Elisabetta Gullotta, Fabio Tracuzzi, Domenico Scattareggia, Domenico Maggiotti, Emilia Mammoliti, Francesca Campagna and Enzo Pardo among other – to the consolidated working group that with passion and tenacity and patience sided the artistic director: Deborah Young and Steve Klain, Maria Rosaria Cerino and Patrizia Prosperi, Lorenza Micarelli and Francesca Nigro, Francesca Pappalardo and Silvia Bizio, Olivia Alighiero and Flavia Schiavi, Silvia Scerrino and Adele Dorothy Ciampa. To all, a most grateful and affectionate thank you. Felice Laudadio


..   Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali [link esterno al sito]  Azienda Autonoma di Soggiorno e Turismo [link esterno al sito]  L'Unione europea in linea [link esterno al sito]  .
Programme - Taormina Arte Awards for Cinematic Excellence - Great Cinema at the Greek Theatre - Cinema from Around the World
Special presentation:Taken - Nastri d'Argento - La meglio gioventù - Miklos Jancso - Shooting Stars - BNL Prize Award International Short Films - BNL Prize Award Sicilian Short Films - Cinema's Lessons - partner BNL - Silver Sponsor - Taormina Arte
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