:: COMPLETE FESTIVAL PROGRAMME
The 49th Taormina BNL FilmFest, directed for the fifth consecutive year by Felice Laudadio, screen fifty feature films during the Festival’s eight day period, ten as world premiers and 16 as international premiers; all are being shown for the first time in Italy.
Announcing the line-up from Rome, director Laudadio expressed his delight at being able to use Taormina as a showcase to launch some exceptional films with the aim of helping Italy’s summer distribution season get a head start.
“GRANDE CINEMA” IN THE GREEK THEATRE
In this showcase section, eight important films will be screened each evening; many are the first or second works of young directors.
- PALABRAS ENCADENAS (Killing Words) by Laura Manas with Dario Grandinetti (Hable con Ella). The second film from this Spanish actress-director is a thriller packed with tension and centered on a serial killer, played by Grandinetti. International premier: June 7.
- IDENTITY by James Mangold (Cop Land, Kate & Leopold) with John Cusack and Ray Liotta. A thriller-mystery full of twists from Columbia TriStar. June 8.
- CONSPIRACY OF SILENCE by John Deery. A powerful first film set in Ireland with Jonathan Forbes, of scandalous implications in its denunciation of the Catholic Church and its outspoken demand for an end to celibacy among the clergy. World premier: June 9.
- THE OTHER BOLEYN GIRL by Philippa Lowthorpe with Natascha McElhone (Solaris, Ronin) and Jodhi May (The Last of the Mohicans). A first feature from the celebrated documentarist, produced by the BBC, recounting a chilling tale of sex and court intrigues at the time of Henry VIII, his lover Anne Boleyn and her sister Maria, the other Boleyn girl. International theatrical premier: June 10.
- PHONE BOOTH by Joel Schumacher (The Client, Batman & Robin, Tigerland, Bad Company) with Colin Farrell, Kiefer Sutherland, Forest Whitaker, from 20th Century Fox. Number one at the U.S. box office and a favorite with the critics, this is a sophisticated, surprising thriller with a superlative Colin Farrell. June 11.
- MYSTICS, a second film by David Blair. An irresistible Irish comedy in the style of WAKING NED about two harmless former vaudeville performers who go into the spirit business. World premier: June 12.
- ASSASSINATION TANGO by and starring Robert Duvall. The great American actor confirms his talent as a screenwriter and director in a film about a man on a special mission in Argentina at the time of the generals. Luis Bacalov composed the score. European premier: June 13.
- EFFROYABLES JARDINS (Strange Gardens) by Jean Becker with Jacques Villeret, André Dussolier, Thierry Lhermitte, Benoit Magimel. Four fantastic French actors appear in a touching film that recalls the spirit and humor of TRAIN DE VIE and LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL. World premier: June 14.
TAORMINA ARTE AWARDS FOR CINEMATIC EXCELLENCE
A tradition at Taormina is the daily prize ceremony honoring a great personality of world cinema. Each night, a Taormina Arte Award for Cinematic Excellence is presented on the stage of the Greek Theatre, prior to the evening screening. The Taormina Arte Award for Cinematic Excellence which this year is sponsored by Harry Winston jewelers will go to the following recipients:
- MARISA PAREDES, June 7.
- ORNELLA MUTI, June 8.
- MIKLOS JANCSO, June 9.
- MARIANGELA MELATO, June 10.
- JOEL SCHUMACHER, June 11.
- JEANNE MOREAU, June 12.
- ROBERT DUVALL, June 13.
The World Cinema section of the Festival includes the following films, most of which are first or second works by the director. All are world premiers. Screenings take place, screened at 16.00hrs and 18.00hrs in the Palazzo dei Congressi,
- BL,.M, first film by Irish director Sean Walsh, based on James Joyce’s Ulysses, with Stephen Rea as Leopold Bloom, Angeline Ball as Molly and Hugh O’Connor as Dedalus. June 13.
- A BREACH IN THE WALL, first film by the Swedish director Jimmy Karlsson, with Magnus Krepper, about a young math genius and his teacher. June 10.
- ALLA FINE DELLA NOTTE (At the End of the Night) by Salvatore Piscicelli, with Ennio Fantastichini, Ida Di Benedetto, Ricky Tognazzi, Elena Sofia Ricci. Fantaschini plays an actor/director going through a real and spiritual crisis. June 10.
- LETTERE AL VENTO, first film by actor-director Edmond Budina, co-produced by Italy and Albania. It tells of an Albanian father’s search for his son, who has immigrated to Italy. June 9.
- MOSKU by Tapio Suominen, Finland. The true, very touching story of a king of the forest and reindeer hunter, set in Lapland at the beginning of the 20th century. June 12.
- NAMES IN MARBLE, first film by Elmo Nuganen, Estonia-Finland. The invasion of Estonia by the Red Army in November, 1918, is seen through the eyes of two brothers fighting on opposite sides. Nuganen is one of Estonia’s most important theater directors. June 10.
- NARREN, first film by Tom Schreiber, Germany. A young architect passes a wild and tragic night during the Cologne carnival. June 11.
- NOORA, first film by Iranian director Mahmoud Shoolizadeh. A moving story about children set in Iran’s far northern forests. June 9.
- TIEMPO DE TORMENTA by Pedro Olea, with Maribel Verdù, Jorge Sanz, Dario Grandinetti. The story of two middle-class couples in today’s Spain. June 12.
- EL ULTIMO TREN, second film of the Uruguayan Diego Arsuaga, a prize-winning short film director. This Argentina-Uruguay-Spain co-production is the comic story of a famous locomotive “stolen” by three old-time railroad men in order that it won’t be sold to a Hollywood producer. It stars the great Hector Alterio, Federico Luppi, and Pepe Soriano. June 11.
World Cinema is not a competitive section, however the films will be judged by two unofficial juries. The first will assign the Aprilia Audience Award for the film receiving the most votes from viewers. The second, a critics jury, will award a Fipresci Prize for Best Film.
Another highlight of the Festival will be the screening, for the first time in Italy, of Marco Tullio Giordana’s six-hour film LA MEGLIO GIOVENTU’, which very recently premiered at Cannes; the first part screens June 7, the second part on June 8.
Additionally, the great Hungarian director Miklos Jancso will be present to be honored with a special tribute, whilst the four films of his Tetralogy will be screened on June 8:
- THE LORD’S LANTERN IN BUDAPEST (1999)
- DAMN YOU! THE MOSQUITOES (2000)
- LAST SUPPER AT THE ARABIAN GRAY HORSE (2001)
- WAKE UP MATE, DON’T SLEEP (2003), World Premiere
A press conference with Jancso will follow on June 9.
Taormina is also delighted to be able to host a special presentation of TAKEN, a film lasting 15 hours divided into ten chapters. Produced by Steven Spielberg and inspired by his legendary CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, eight of the films, each directed by a different young talent from the Dreamworks stable, will be screened each night at midnight in the Greek Theatre; the remaining two will be shown during the day on June 14.
Ten films in the Shooting Stars section will present rising young European actors and actresses to the public. This section is organized in association with European Film Promotion and each title will be introduced by the up and coming star of each movie.
- LEONOR BALDAQUE in THE UNCERTAINTY PRINCIPLE by Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal.
- DANIEL BRUEHL in GOODBYE LENIN! by Wolfgang Becker, Germany.
- LIBERO DE RIENZO in SANTA MARADONA by Marco Ponti, Italy.
- NINA DOGG FILIPPUSDOTTIR in THE SEA by Baltasar Kormakur, Iceland.
- MINNA HAAPKILA in LOVERS & LEAVERS by Aku Louhimies, Finland.
- MARIA HOFSTATTER in DOG DAYS by Ulrich Seidl, Austria.
- MARILITA LAMBROPOULOU in THE KING by Nikos Grammatikos, Greece.
- MATTIAS SCHENAERTS in MEISJE by Dorothee van den Berghe, Belgium.
- JAMIE SIVES in WILBUR WANTS TO KILL HIMSELF by Lone Scherfig, Great Britain.
- TATIANA VILHELMOVA in WILD BEES by Bohdan Slama, Czech Republic.
After the extraordinary success at last year’s Festival of Abbas Kiarostami’s Master Class, Taormina will this year host six further Master Classes, structured around films chosen by each “teacher.” The classes are open to the public, and screenings begin at 09:30hrs (please note: these will be held in Italian without translation):
- MAURIZIO NICHETTI with LADRI DI SAPONETTE, June 9.
- FABRIZIO GIFUNI with SOLE NEGLI OCCHI by Andrea Porporati, June 10.
- MARIANGELA MELATO with CARO MICHELE by Mario Monicelli, June 11.
- FERZAN OZPETEK, TILDE CORSI and GIANNI ROMOLI with IGNORANT FAIRIES, June 12.
- ROBERTA TORRE with ANGELA, June 13.
- GIUSEPPE PICCIONI with FUORI DAL MONDO, June 14.
THE BNL PRIZES FOR SHORT FILMS
An international jury composed of British producer Simon Perry (president), Spanish distributor Ricardo Avila, Danish festival consultant Lissy Bellaiche, French director Laetitia Colombani and Italian producer Fernando Ghia will award the following prizes:
- Premio BNL – I Corti Siciliani: a prize of 10,330 euros, to the best short film among 30 made by directors born or living in Sicily, chosen by the cultural group Visionaria.
- Premio BNL – International Short Film: a prize of 10,330 euros, to the best short film among 27 chosen by Lorenza Micarelli, director of the Solinas Prize.
57 short films are in competition during the Festival, for a full list of titles, please see the Festival website (www.taorminafilmfest.it). The prize money can be used by the winners to make a new short which will be presented at the 50th anniversary of the Taormina BNL FilmFest 2004, to be held June 11-19, 2004.
TAORMINA IN ROME
Ten features and ten shorts from the Taormina selection will be screened in Rome from June 23 to 28 in the show “Taormina in Rome.”
ORGANIZERS AND SPONSORS
The Festival is organized by the Taormina Arte Committee. with the support of the Tourism-Communications-Transport Board of the Region of Sicily, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Festival partner Banca Nazionale del Lavoro (supporting Italian cinema since 1935), the Taormina Tourism Board and sponsors AirOne, Aprilia, Lancaster. For the first time this year, Harry Winston jewelers and Land Rover join as Festival sponsors; Radio 24 is the official Festival radio.