The Festival
Cary Grant once said the most beautiful experience there was, was seeing a movie in New York’s Radio City Music Hall, which could hold 6,500 people, and hearing 6,500 people all laugh at the same time. Six thousand and five hundred seats rocking in unison, thousands of hearts beating vigorously.
Taormina’s Teatro Antico, dug out of the rocks in the seventh century, can hold nearly 19,000 spectators. How many people have laughed, cried and screamed in it since then (in Roman times it even hosted gladiator games)? In the past 50 years, it has been one of the most beautiful locations a film festival could ever dream of.
What films one can imagine in a space that, even before a screening begins, seems like something right out of a movie. The idea of the 58th Taormina FilmFest is that a space of this kind demand that we return to cinema as a primordial event, of laughter. And fear. What is the state of cinema, today?
Today, no festivals seriously examine comedy – yet it is the only genre that from the United States to France, England to the Philippines, Italy to Norway, brings together the widest film audiences, those under 20 and over 50. Yet we offer a showcase that will try and critically break down the entire range of comedy. As well as horror films, to remind us how much we are indebted to cinema for letting us really get to know our fears, without the secondary effect of actually being subjected to their causes.
This is a festival made up of the utmost sexy mirth (and fear), the most radical logarithm of cinema. So that all the festival’s guests can come to face to face with great auteurs; new faces of this golden age of television serials; director-actors who have kept alive a good deal of recent Italian cinema; great actresses who have made comedies so memorable; great Italian directors who will speak of their works in progress. And much, much more.

Mario Sesti