The 65th Taormina Film Festival kicks off today, on June 30, in Sicily. Taormina Film Fest is a European film festival, which annually takes place in the end of June in a Sicilian resort town on the hills of the Tauro Mountain.
This year Nicole Kidman is invited to the Taormina Film Festival. On July 1 at 17:00 she will be available to the audience for a talk about cinema, arts and festival within the frameworks of the “In conversation with” festival activity.
Another much-awaited celebrity is Oliver Stone, an American filmmaker, film director and writer, best known for the hit films Platoon, Scarface, Born on the Fourth of July and Natural Born Killers. He got his awards for the Best Adapted Screenplay at Midnight Express on 1979, the Best Director of Platoon in 1987, and was awarded as the Best Director of the Born on the Fourth of July in 1990.
Opening and the Red Carpet
The first day of the festival is opened with a press conference with the representatives of the Jury, famous Italian filmmakers, the Mayor of Taormina Mario Bolognari, the directors of the festival, and partners. They all agree that it’s a reborn festival, that puts together traditions and reality. Directors tell their stories, talk about themselves, and the aim of this festival is to speak of the reality.
The program of the festival is quite tight with the geography from the U.S. to Australia. The films in the competition will be displayed in the two cinema halls of the Congress Palace. In the program, there are Feature Film Competitions, Documentary Competition, Center Stage Competition, Spotlight – out of Competition. The majority of the films displayed will be attended by the delegations.
Apart from that plenty of special events and masterclasses.
The Feature Film Competition Jury consists of Oliver Stone (the Head of the Jury), Andre Aciman, Elisa Bonora, Carolina Crescentini, Paolo Genovese, Julia Ormond, and Carlo Silitito.
The documentary jury has Patrizia Chen, Donatella Finocchiaro, Andrea Pallaoro, Bedonna Hays Smith.
The films will be screened at the Congress Palace, the House of Cinema and the Greek Theater.
Ukraine at the Festival
Oliver Stone shall represent his new documentary “Revealing Ukraine” directed by Igor Lopatyonok about the latest developments in Ukraine and conflict in Donbas.
The film about Ukraine is participating for the award and will be screened on July 4 at 18:30 with the film delegation attendance. This means that the directors of the film Oliver Stone and Igor Lopanyonok are going to have their speech before the show and be present in the screening room together with the audience.
The whole team involved in the creation of the film came to Taormina to present the film. Oliver Stone, Igor Lopatyonok, Oksana Marchenko, Victor Medvedchuk arrived at Sicily for the festival.
The film was created to help the world and the Ukrainians to see the conflict in Ukraine and the situation in the whole, to show the meaning of the conflict in Donbas for the whole world, as it throws light on the events of 2014 – 2019.
Bruce Beresford, an Australian film director, screenwriter and producer, whose “The Women in Black” were screened on the main stage of the festival – in the Greek Theater on the first day of the festival at the opening ceremony.
Based on the 1993 novel the movie is about workers in a Sydney department store in the late 1950s.
“I didn't choose Taormina, Taormina chose me and my film, and I’m glad because the city is beautiful, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you can’t complain about being in Taormina,” Bruce Beresford said.
Oksana Marchenko, Ukrainian TV presenter and a wife of Ukraine’s politician Victor Medvedchuk:
“This festival is considered to be one of the most influential among the documentalists. There are many professionals here, many film directors from the Cannes jury pool who are able to access the work of the film directors, cameramen, screenwriters,” Oksana says.